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San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project
Control Program
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The Invasive Spartina Control Program

The Spartina Control Program (Control Program) is the “action arm” of the San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project, a project of the California State Coastal Conservancy.

PROGRAM APPROACH

The Control Program uses an Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) approach to prioritize and implement control efforts. Applying this approach, the Control Program uses all available scientific information regarding the San Francisco Estuary, the invasive cordgrasses, and the likely economic, sociological, and ecological consequences of both the invasion and the treatment program, to develop a management strategy that is effective, economical, and protective of public and environmental health.

The Control Program is moving forward with an aggressive treatment program, aimed at quickly eradicating invasive cordgrasses, particularly Atlantic smooth cordgrass and its hybrids, from the Estuary. This approach was supported by a panel of international experts at the Third International Conference on Invasive Spartina (November 8-10, 2004, San Francisco, California), which indicated that anything less than a rapidly implemented, full-scale eradication program would likely fail.

As the Control Program is implemented, the ISP staff considers the developing scientific understanding of such critical issues as cordgrass hybridization and the resulting changes in plant biology, the effects of non-native cordgrass invasion and its control on California clapper rail populations, the spread of Atlantic smooth cordgrass hybrids onto mudflats, and the successional processes of invaded marshes, subsequently adapting the goals of the program to maximize environmental benefits and minimize environmental costs.

To implement the site-specific management strategies, the Control Program relies heavily on partnerships developed with the landowners and managers around the Bay that have non-native Spartina growing on their lands. The Coastal Conservancy provides treatment and eradication grants to these partners, who subsequently select an appropriate aquatic vegetation control contractor through a competitive bid process, or utilize their own equipment and crews in the case of flood control and mosquito abatement districts. These partners are ultimately responsible for the success of the project through the long-term commitment to monitor and maintain the eradication efforts, and ensure that Spartina is not reintroduced to the system.

Preserving Native Wetlands
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