Portland State Students and East Columbia Neighborhood Residents banded together to plant 220 native plants and shovel 120 cubic feet of clay, mud and decomposing plant material.
Since the establishment of the project in the Summer of 2010, the Blue Heron Wetland Restoration Project has been working to create a platform and basis for the management strategies of the invasive aquatic plant, Ludwigia peploides spp. montevidensis. The “Invasive Ludwigia peloides Eradication Plan for the Blue Heron Wetlands of NE Portland” utilizes an Integrated Pest Management strategy to minimize herbicide use, increase native floral diversity and improve wetland functionality. The eradication plan highlights the background, purpose, goals and proposed work of the project.
Ludwigia peploides, or aquatic primrose is a relatively new invasive weed to the Greater Portland Area. Little is known related to control methods of this plant within the Pactific Northwest. The Blue Heron Wetland Restoration Project has adopted adaptive management strategies to continually adjust and improve the effectiveness of the eradication efforts. Current removal techniques and present timeline may have changed since the creation of the intial eradication plan in July of 2012. A project update will be available in July of 2013.
The “Eradication of Ludwigia peploides ssp. montevidensis from the Blue Heron Wetlands of NE Portland” was created by project coordinator, Alex Staunch and Portland State University students, with grant funding being provided by Metro, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and North Portland Neighborhood Services.
What Is This Project?
The Blue Heron Wetland Restoration Project (BHWRP) will eradicate a newly identified invasive weed, Ludwigia peploides, create a sustainable management plan to provide maintenance for a healthy wetland environment and create a community education program for volunteer involvement in the maintenance of urban, mitigated wetlands.
The BHWRP aims to work with numerous contributing and consulting agencies and individuals to safely and successfully remove the foreign plant, L. peploides or water primrose from the Blue Heron Wetlands. Details of the finalized plan are still in development and the finished scopes will be released by late Summer.
The contributing grant providing agencies include: Metro Nature in the Neighborhood, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and North Portland Neighborhood Services.
Why Are Exotics Bad?
Not all foreign species are harmful to the environment. It is only when an exotic establishes itself as a competitor and reduces the population of native species that it becomes an INVASIVE! Only a fraction of those species brought into foreign lands can establish in the wild. There is a difference between exotic and invasive.
Invasives are the 2nd leading cause to species extinction. Over 49% of endangered species are declining due to invasive species. This is behind only habitat destruction and actually more significant than the contributing factors of pollution. Invasive species account for over 127 billion dollars in damages annually in the U.S alone.
As of 2008 the United States possessed:
- 20 species of invasive mammals
- 97 species of exotic birds
- 88 species of exotic mollusks
- > 2000 species of exotic insects
- > 2000 species of exotic plants
Why Is This Project Important?
This project aims to return the Blue Heron Wetlands into its original and natural state. All three ponds provide important open water and shoreline habitat for waterfowl, aquatic plants and other organisms. With the presence of L. peploides this habitat is threatened. Not only will Ludwigia block out sunlight, infringe on total area and strip these ponds of usable oxygen, but these ponds are a gateway to the Peninsula Drainage District #2, Lower Columbia Slough and then the Willamette River. This aggressive and adaptable plant will then reek havoc throughout the waterways of Oregon and Washington.
The Blue Heron Wetlands was the first of only two sites in the state of Oregon to be identified as possessing L. peploides. It is vastly important for a collaborative effort to eradicate this plant from a more widespread infestation of Oregon’s natural systems.