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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 27, 2004
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov

DCR to attack invasive species from the air, Sept. 27 - Oct. 15

(RICHMOND) - The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, in a cooperative effort with The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, plans to treat 551 acres of wetlands with herbicide to control an invasive plant. More than 14 sites on more than five river systems across Virginia's Tidewater region and a barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean will be sprayed.

DCR resource managers will coordinate the aerial spraying of a herbicide to control common reed (Phragmites australis), an aggressively invasive plant that crowds native plants out of wetlands, destroys animal habitat and disrupts the ecosystem.

"This type of work allows us to take effective steps in the ongoing struggle to protect Virginia's natural resources," said Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Joseph H. Maroon.

Project sites:
Belle Isle State Park - Lancaster County - 2 acres
Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve - Mathews County - 3 acres
Caledon Natural Area - King George County - 4 acres
Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve - Northumberland County - 11 acres
False Cape State Park and Natural Area Preserve - City of Virginia Beach - 130 acres
First Landing State Park - City of Virginia Beach - 43 acres
Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve - Northumberland County - 4 acres
New Point Comfort Natural Area Preserve - Mathews County - 53 acres
North Landing River Natural Area Preserve - City of Virginia Beach - 125 acres
USFWS Rappahannock River sites - Richmond County - 60 acres
Westmoreland State Park - Westmoreland County - 3 acres
York River State Park - James City County - 15 acres
Northwest River Natural Area Preserve - City of Chesapeake - 8 acres
Parramore Island Natural Area Preserve - Accomack County - 120 acres

Affected sections of the parks and natural areas will be closed during the spraying.

The herbicide is a water solution of the isopropylamine salt of glyphosate that biodegrades quickly and completely in the environment. It has no negative impacts on fish or animals.

Funding for the project comes in part from the Virginia Wetlands Restoration Trust Fund.

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