Spartina Eradication to Start in June
The Washington State Department of Agriculture announced that the treatment season for the eradication of spartina, a noxious weed that can harm shellfish, begins June 1 and will continue through October.
Efforts to eliminate the weed have been effective over the past nine years with the infested area plummeting from a high of more than 9,000 acres in 2003 to an estimated five acres this year. Nearly 30,000 sites around the region will need to be visited twice this year to ensure the weed does not return in force.
“We have seen great success in combating this invasive species thanks to the cooperative effort of many partners,” said Jim Marra, manager for WSDA’s Pest Program. “But our efforts must continue if we are to protect our state’s critical shoreline habitat.”
Spartina is a weed that disrupts the ecosystems of estuaries in Washington. Officials expect to survey more than 80,000 acres of estuaries and 1,000 miles of shoreline to determine the extent of spartina infestation.
WSDA and its partners plan to focus this year on Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, and other sites along the water front.