3/29/10 Several hundred acres of local salt marsh will be cleared of an invasive plant in a $1 million effort by the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge to revive the native species that have lost ground over the past 120 years. The project would target Spartina densiflora, a cordgrass that dominates large areas of Humboldt Bay and the Eel and Mad river estuaries. The refuge has already treated 35 acres of salt marsh, and says it has successfully restored native plants there.
Humboldt State University zoology professor and department chair Milt Boyd said that while knocking back the plant may be of benefit to native salt marsh plants, there are concerns that losing the organic material from dying cordgrass could affect the food chain in the bay...Studies are planned or under way to determine the cordgrass removal's effects on invertebrates, and the refuge is hoping to settle the question before there is any attempt at regional eradication. Read Full Article