Protecting the Southeast Coast from Invasive Plants

May 24, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The National Park Service Exotic Plant Management Teams are responsible duties related to invasive plant species growing in 230 national sites. Recently the seventeenth team was created just for the Southeast coast.  Lauren Serra heads this   team   from her base at the Congaree National Park.   She has one full time co-worker  and is assisted by three interns hired annually.  Asian wistaras are a  major problem in the Congaree site; at Cape Hatteras National Seashore a European genotype   of Phragmities australis is the major threat to the native ecosystem (it threatens our SC coast as well).  Last year the Southeast Coast team spent seven months at the Congaree site. Not only are the teams charged with removing invasive plants,    but in inventorying non-native populations, trying to prevent new infestations  and after treatment, restoring appropriate native plants to the treated sites.