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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Invasive Species and Pollinator Health » Research » Research Project #427244

Research Project: Areawide Management of Invasive Weeds in the Sacramento/ San Joaquin River Delta: A Cooperative Inter-Agency Approach

Location: Invasive Species and Pollinator Health

Project Number: 2030-22000-029-05-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2014
End Date: Jul 1, 2019

1. To assess aquatic weed growth under field conditions, in cooperation with USDA-ARS and NASA scientists. 2. To monitor the locations, size and spread of aquatic weed populations using both information from aquatic weed treatment and monitoring crews and NASA remote sensing platforms. 3. To use this information to identify the locations and timing of aquatic weed control applications of herbicides and mechanical removal to optimize control outcomes. 4. To assess and implement improved weed control technologies, including phenological targeting, new herbicides, and new mechanical control regimes, to improve control outcomes and thereby improve protection of water resources, navigation and ecosystem health in the Delta. 5. To facilitate the completion of studies to determine the toxicity of new control tools, including herbicides and biological control agents, to listed fish species, prior to implementation.

Weed growth and development will be assessed to increase the team’s ability to identify and target physiological weak points in plant biology and ecology as it relates to potential control treatments. Abiotic variables driving weed growth and development (such as air and water temperature, light and wind conditions, nutrient levels, etc.) will be monitored and provided to cooperators who will predict weed growth, reproduction and dispersal potential in critical habitats. Biologists will work with remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping specialists from NASA to improve targeting, prioritization and method and timing selection for control. The development of new chemical and biological control tools will be facilitated through an existing collaborative agreement with the leading academic expert in testing of toxicity of these new tools to Federally-listed fish species. Together, research personnel, operational staff, local land and waterway managers, and county mosquito abatement districts will be working and planning together throughout this project to improve program efficacy and provide sustainable control methods for long-term use. Outcomes will be evaluated and promoted in cooperation with the USDA, University of California (UC) Cooperative Extension Service specialists and others in San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties. Program enhancements will thus be directly transferred to end-users as the program advances through direct implementation and assessment.