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Bickle Phragmites Management Along Delaware Estuary 060415

Sep 16, 2015




Presentation given at the 4th Fact Finding Meeting for Piermont Marsh, NY

  • Restoration of Phragmites Dominated Marshes Along the Delaware Estuary

    Presented by: Gary Bickle, Sr. Vice PresidentAKRF, Environmental and Planning Consultants

    Note: The presentation provided herein is provided for informational purposes only. Any use or replication of the images, information, or data provided herein without the express written consent of the author is prohibited.

  • EEP Sites


    5 Wetland Restoration Sites

    1 Preservation Site

    4 Fish Ladders


    2 PSEG Wetland Restoration Sites

    3 DNREC Wetland Restoration Sites

    10 Fish Ladders

  • Phragmites

    Executive Order 13112 identifies Phragmites as an invasive species

    In the last several decades, there has been a rapid expansion of its distribution and coverage within tidal wetlands along the coastline of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states

  • Ecological Effects of Phragmites

    Reduces or eliminates access to marsh areas for forage fish and invertebrates

    Reduces the amount of food available through the detrital pathway

    Reduces the diversity of the aquatic ecosystem Lowers the habitat value for birds and wildlife Interferes with nutrient cycling processes, binding

    limiting nutrients in forms unavailable to other plants

  • 1951 Phragmites Coverage

    Figure 11

    1951 Phragmites Coverage

  • 1962 Phragmites Coverage

    Figure 12

    1962 Phragmites Coverage

  • 1972 Phragmites Coverage

    Figure 13

    1972 Phragmites Coverage

  • Pre Treatment Conditions

  • Alloway Creek Watershed Restoration Site

  • Summary of Treatments Evaluated

    Grading limited because of size of properties


    Sulfur addition soil chemistry change



    Various herbicide application methods

  • Regulatory Requirements for Treatment Alternatives

    NJDEP Land Use Regulation Program Tidal Wetlands Aquatic Pesticide Waterfront Development

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 Program U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Marine Fisheries U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Local Site Plan Approval Soil Conservation District

  • Initial Aerial Application of Glyphosate-based Herbicide - 1996

    Note: Aerial application of herbicide is not being considered for use at Piermont Marsh.

  • Ground Application of Herbicide

  • Burning Operations

    Note: Prescribed fire is not being considered for use at Piermont Marsh.

  • Prescribed Burn Results

    Note: Prescribed fire is not being considered for use at Piermont Marsh.

  • Test Area Program

    Implemented in 1999 following initial 1996-1997 Phragmites control efforts

    Objective to determine whether alternative treatments alone or in combination with herbicide application were more effective in control than continued herbicide application alone

    Implemented to provide as many different combinations as possible

    Vegetative response to treatments based on thorough statistical evaluation of field data and remote sensing data

    Over 80 various combinations evaluated

  • Test Area Treatments

    Single mowing

    Multiple Mowing

    Microtopographic Alterations

    Herbicide Timing


    Combinations of the Above

    Rigorous monitoring

  • Microtopography Modifications

  • Phragmites Mowing

  • Wicking Application

  • Grazing

  • Test Area Treatments

  • Test Area Treatments

  • Test Area Treatments

  • Test Area Conclusions

    Phragmites coverage significantly reduced within areas receiving glyphosate-based herbicide treatment

    Mechanical/biological treatments did not result in measurable reduction of Phragmites

    No combination of treatments resulted in better control than herbicide alone

  • ACW TA-43 1999

  • ACW TA-43 2001

  • ACW TA-43 2003

  • Selected Herbicide Effects

  • 1996 Vegetation Coverage Mapping

    Figure 4Figure 7

    1996 Vegetation Coverage Mapping

  • 2003 Vegetation Coverage Mapping

  • Phragmites-dominated Restoration Sites

  • Phragmites-dominated Restoration Sites

  • Phragmites-dominated Restoration Sites

    Restoration of Phragmites Dominated Marshes Along the Delaware EstuarySlide Number 2PhragmitesEcological Effects of Phragmites1951 Phragmites Coverage1962 Phragmites Coverage1972 Phragmites CoveragePre Treatment ConditionsAlloway Creek Watershed Restoration SiteSummary of Treatments EvaluatedRegulatory Requirements for Treatment Alternatives Initial Aerial Application of Glyphosate-based Herbicide - 1996Ground Application of HerbicideBurning OperationsPrescribed Burn ResultsTest Area ProgramTest Area TreatmentsMicrotopography ModificationsPhragmites MowingWicking Application GrazingTest Area TreatmentsTest Area TreatmentsTest Area TreatmentsTest Area ConclusionsSlide Number 26Slide Number 27Slide Number 28Selected Herbicide Effects1996 Vegetation Coverage Mapping2003 Vegetation Coverage MappingPhragmites-dominated Restoration SitesPhragmites-dominated Restoration SitesPhragmites-dominated Restoration Sites

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