USACE Takes Part in Unique Restoration Project

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center are working on one-of-a-kind projects that will help inform similar projects at sites across the Great Lakes and the nation.

The main aim of the project is to control growth of four invasive plants at Times Beach Nature Preserve in Buffalo, a 45-acre confined disposal facility (CDF) built by the USACE that was used to place dredged material from the Buffalo River federal navigation channel from 1972-1976.

The project is specifically looking at Japanese knotweed, mugwort, common buckthorn, and the perennial grass phragmites, all non-native species” said Craig Forgette, Buffalo District project manager.Most of the team’s focus will be on phragmites, given that it covers over one third of the site and that it is a difficult invasive plant to control.”

As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the ecosystem restoration project team is implementing a full-scale project to demonstrate ways of removing and controlling aquatic invasive plants while restoring valuable native species.

Since the contract was awarded to Ecology & Environment Inc. in 2012, a total of two mechanical cuttings have been completed, removing 250 tons of biomass from the Times Beach site. Currently, the Ecology and Environment Inc. project team is conducting a second chemical treatment on 31 acres.

By the end of the five-year demonstration project, Times Beach will be on a path to re-establishing its importance to the Great Lakes, not only as an important birding sanctuary along the Niagara River Greenway corridor, but as a model of success that can be repeated.

October 3, 2014

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