On May 22, a fleet of a dozen Huron Pines AmeriCorps members took to the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary by kayak for training on how to identify and locate European frog-bit, an aquatic invasive plant species.
Left untreated, European frog-bit can quickly form dense mats on the water’s surface, choking out native vegetation and obstructing the movement of waterfowl, fish and paddle craft. Regular frog-bit removal by volunteers has helped keep it in check within the sanctuary, and the training provided to Huron Pines AmeriCorps members will help locate and control infestations in the communities they serve across Michigan.
The May training and survey preceded an experimental effort June 25 by Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary Board and Loyola University’s Wetland Restoration Crew to remove frog-bit and narrow-leaf cattails within the wildlife sanctuary. These invasive cattails offer the ideal habitat for frog-bit populations to become established, and removing the cattails may be another solution to treating frog-bit infestations. This volunteer event runs from 9am to 5pm with multiple shifts and tasks available. Anyone interested in volunteering can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help prevent the further spread of aquatic invasive species, boaters should clean, drain and dry their watercraft after each use.
The Huron Coastal Invasive Species Network is made of conservation groups, landowners, and state and federal agencies that seek to restore native habitat through invasive species education, prevention and management. The Huron Coastal ISN is led by Huron Pines with support from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (Michigan.gov/Invasives).