The Army Corps’ research program has developed innovative, integrated approaches for managing invasive aquatic plants, including biological, chemical and cultural controls. The organization has had a tremendous impact in protecting biodiversity and restoring aquatic ecosystems, while saving tens of millions of dollars annually. 

For example:

• Innovative research by the Army Corps has led to breakthroughs in the use of biocontrol agents to manage invasive aquatic plants such as hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) and waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes).

• Army Corps scientists have helped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency evaluate new reduced-risk herbicides that are applied at very low rates. As a result, nearly 40 percent less herbicide is now needed to manage many of our most problematic aquatic weeds. 

“As scientists with a clear understanding of aquatic ecosystems, we recognize that the benefits of the Army Corps’ Aquatic Plant Control Research Program far outweigh the cost of maintaining this small but nationally significant program,” Barrett said. “Without it, we will lose valuable scientific expertise and the ability to pursue long-term solutions that provide consistent and environmentally sustainable results. Our waters will degrade and the economic and environmental toll from invasive aquatic plants will accelerate even further.”   

Joining WSSA in its appeal were the Aquatic Plant Management Society, North Central Weed Science Society, Northeastern Weed Science Society, Southern Weed Science Society, Western Society of Weed Science, Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society, Mid-South Aquatic Plant Management Society, Midwest Aquatic Plant Management Society, Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society, South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society and Western Aquatic Plant Management Society.

The full text of the letter to Assistant Secretary Darcy is available on the WSSA website: www.wssa.net.

For more information about the Weed Science Society of America, visit www.wssa.net.