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Ducks Unlimited Helps Control Invasive Species on Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuges

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Kelli Alfano,
Public Affairs Coordinator
734/623-2000 or kalfano@ducks.org

Charlestown, RI – Ducks Unlimited (DU) recently completed the first phase of wetland restoration efforts involving invasive species control at two National Wildlife Refuges in southern Rhode Island. DU, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council, and with additional funding from the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA), applied herbicide to common reed (Phragmites australis) on 52 acres of Ninigret and Trustom Pond NWR and adjacent private land in Washington County. Adequate control of common reed typically requires multiple efforts, and this fall’s initial spraying operation will be followed by mowing the dead stems, and spot treatments of any re-growth that appears next spring and summer.

Ninigret and Trustom Pond NWR are part of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which is strategically located along the southern coast of Rhode Island, and provides valuable habitat for migratory birds within the Atlantic Flyway. Each of the refuges has extensive stands of the non-native invasive common reed. “These plants threaten native ecosystems by displacing native plant and wildlife species, degrading wetlands and other natural communities, and reducing natural diversity and wildlife habitat values,” states Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist, Craig Ferris. “Control of common reed is part of an overall landscape-level wetland habitat restoration effort underway in this unique coastal area.”

For more information on this or other DU projects, please contact Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office @ 734-623-2000 or visit the website @ www.ducks.org

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands ­- nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

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