Stopping Terrestrial hitchhikers in their tracks
Terrestrial invasive species are those found hitchhiking their way across the land or skies, and can include mammals like the feral hog, plants like Mile-a-Minute and many others, and even birds like the European starling. The spread of these invasive species is often accidental and commonly happens through activities like transporting firewood from one campsite to another.
Trying to completely eradicate all invasive species is an unrealistic proposition simply because of the size and scope, but stopping the future spread is possible. Pennsylvania Sea Grant works with natural resource managers, state agencies, and individuals to share educational resources, provide technical trainings, and to provide guidance and native alternatives to invasive species.
In western Pennsylvania, Sea Grant works with partners in the "Lake Erie Watershed Cooperative Weed Management Area (LEW-CWMA)." The Pennsylvania Lake Erie Watershed supports some of the most ecologically rich habitats in the state. Invasive species pose a great threat to the biological integrity of diverse ecosystems that intertwine within the region. With over 11,600 acres of publicly owned and managed lands, proactive agency staff, and engaged Non-Governmental Organizations active within the watershed, the region has a great opportunity to work collectively to minimize the various threats posed by invasive species. The primary functions of the Lake Erie Watershed Cooperative Weed Management Area include the coordination of invasive species inventory, control, and education activities across the watershed. By prioritizing efforts, increasing the capacity of individual agencies and organizations and leveraging funding for various control efforts, the formation of the LEW-CWMA has proven to be an effective method to preserve the quality and diversity of the Lake Erie Watershed’s natural communities.