MENTOR, OH --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History executed a Project Partnership Agreement, August 10, 2020 to begin a project that will control flowering rush at Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve located on the southern shore of Lake Erie in the City of Mentor, OH.
This project is necessary to remove the invasive flowering rush that chokes out native species, creating a monoculture within the marsh that cannot support native species. This project is intended to provide a benefit to aquatic species by restoring native vegetation, maintaining suitable habitat, and restoring ecosystem and riparian/wetland function.
Mentor Marsh is a unique and significant ecological resource on Lake Erie and this project along with other restoration work that has been competed, and is being planned, will ensure the marsh thrives into the future. Through the process of hand pulling, Cleveland Museums of Natural History staff will remove flowering rush from approximately 860 acres of marsh.
“This agreement is great news for the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and the Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve" said Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14), Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. "I applaud both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for signing it. Their critical effort to control the invasive flowering rush will help restore the native habitat for countless plants and animals and ensure the ecosystem of these Preserves can continue to thrive.”
“As a great biology teacher of mine once said, ‘If it ain’t normal, if ain’t natural, it probably ain’t good!’ Invasive species like the flowering rush have done a lot of damage to invaluable ecological resources like Mentor Marsh. So we’re proud to partner with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in the fight against this weed,” said LTC Eli Adams, USACE Buffalo District Commander. “Thanks to the help of the museum, and the continued support of our elected officials, the Corps of Engineers is delivering engineering solutions today that protect and sustain our environment AND provide ecological and economic benefits across the Great Lakes.”
"The Museum is pleased to partner with the USACE to help fund early detection/rapid response for this invasive plant at our Mentor Marsh Preserve. Our plan is to deploy our team of conservation seasonals throughout the Marsh to search for and eradicate this plant before it causes damage to the ecosystem." Renee Boronka, Associate Director, Natural Areas Division.
Flowering rush grows prolifically and converts diverse native plant communities into non-native monocultures. This in turn results in the promotion of sediment deposition, a decrease in open water fish spawning habitat, and a decrease in abundance and diversity of native plant species which provide habitat for native fauna. Flowering rush also interferes with boating, swimming, fishing, and other recreational opportunities along rivers, marinas, and lake shores.
Section 104 of the River and Harbor Act (RHA) of 1958 (33 United States Code [U.S.C.] §610), as amended, authorizes the USACE to administer a comprehensive program to provide for the prevention, control, and progressive eradication of noxious aquatic plants and aquatic invasive species from the waters of the U.S. The agreement implements a Flowering Rush Control Cost Share Program to aid the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) in the control and treatment of an invasive aquatic plant, flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus).