News Release – 8/8/11

For more information:
Erica Erland, Clark Public Utilities
360-992-3238, eerland@clarkpud.com

Clark Public Utilities’ StreamTeam Wins Grant, Issues Evacuation Notice to Invasive Japanese Knotweed

Eradication Nation Program Awarded $74,000 National Fish & Wildlife Grant

VANCOUVER, WA – August 8, 2011 – With a $74,000 boost from the National Fish & Wildlife Community Salmon Fund Grant, Clark Public Utilities’ StreamTeam is expanding its Japanese knotweed control efforts within the Salmon Creek Watershed.

“Clark County is familiar with Himalayan blackberry and English ivy, two common invasive species in our area, but Japanese knotweed is proving to be equally aggressive and extremely destructive to the fragile stream banks we’re working to restore,” said Jeff Wittler, Clark Public Utilities environmental resources manager.

Key to receiving the grant is active recruiting of community volunteers to help with education, surveying and monitoring, and control of knotweed infestations. Together, volunteers will donate a total of 1,400 or more hours of service toward the removal and suppression of Japanese knotweed.

“This grant will help us develop a coordinated effort to battle Japanese knotweed in the most threatened areas along Salmon Creek and allow native species to recover. Hundreds of volunteers will help throughout the year to identify infestations and reduce the impact of this harmful species on our local natural environment,” Wittler said.

The Eradication Nation project is part of a network of community organizations working together to combat non-native invasive plants. Partner organizations include the NW Service Academy, Salmon Creek Watershed Council, NW Wild Fish Rescue, Clark County Vegetation Management, WSU Watershed Stewards, Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation and Clark Public Utilities’ Stream Stewards program.

Facts on Japanese Knotweed

  • Grows at a rapid rate of up to three inches per day in any type of soil
  • Forms dense clumps up to ten feet high, reducing plant diversity and shade along streams
  • Travels underground with loose root systems extending 20 feet in each direction and as many as eight feet deep
  • Damages underground construction and is not suitable for bank stabilization
  • Spreads quickly and can be transferred to new areas via human activity such as construction or recreation
  • Threatens salmon populations by destroying healthy stream environments, raising water temperature and disrupting the natural food chain

For more information or to volunteer, visit the StreamTeam website, www.StreamTeam.net, call 360-992-8787 or email eradication@clarkpud.com.