Chesterton Tribune

Dunes groups join to combat spread of invasive plants

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An Indiana Coastal Cooperative Weed Management Area (ICCWMA) has been established to address the problem of invasive plants threatening the Indiana Dunes.

The ICCWMA was formed by the Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, the Shirley Heinze Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and is an outgrowth of the Northwest Indiana Invasive Plant Network (NIIPN) established in 2004 by Save the Dunes, the National Lakeshore, and the DNR.

The ICCWMAs first project will be launched at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6, at Kemil Beach in Beverly Shores, part of the National Lakeshore.

The ICCWMAs Steering Committee has chosen lyme grass (Leymus arenarius) for its first collaborate effort to control invasive plant species in the coastal region. Lyme grass is a commercially sold ornamental grass originating in Europe and Asia which spreads rapidly and is a major threat to natural areas in the coastal zone because of its ability to displace native marram grass, according to a statement released last week by the ICCWMA.

ICCWMA members are asking the Dunes communities to get involved with the effort to control lyme grass. The Town of Ogden Dunes will be participating in the Aug. 6 program by providing information to private landowners along the coast on how they can be a part of protecting and restoring Indianas fragile natural areas.


Posted 7/25/2009