Invasive Species

Lower Eastern Shore PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management)

The Lower Eastern Shore PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) is a cooperative of State, County, Federal and NGO partners and stakeholders dedicated to reducing the negative impact of nonnative invasive species on the natural and agricultural environment in the lower 4 counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The LES-PRISM connects partners throughout the region to share information, procure funding, and create a network for the identification, mapping and management of invasive species.

The LES-PRISM is financially supported through Chesapeake Bay Trust and Wicomico County at this time, and looks to secure ongoing support for the program. The PRISM coordinator is staffed under the Lower Shore Land Trust. 

Japanese Wisteria restoration at Pemberton Historical Park Wicomico County

Services

  • Provide seasonal workshops, outreach, and educational materials on the topics of invasive species identification and regional treatment protocols;

  • Coordinate with state and local government, service providers and NGOs to share resources, manpower and leverage funding for treatment efforts;

  • Implement eradication and restoration projects with County and State partners;

  • Provide referrals to landowners about upcoming grant and funding opportunities for invasive species treatment;

  • Recruit and train citizen volunteers to map invasive species on public lands;

  • Establish Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) networks

Why report
invasive species?

  • It is widely understood and researched that invasive species threaten…

  • Natural habitat;

  • Forest and agricultural economies

  • Cultural resources;

  • Water quality

 

Invasive species management can improve water quality by preventing species such as Japanese wisteria (pictured top right at Pemberton Historical Park restoration site in Wicomico County, MD) from girdling and pulling down trees and choking out native vegetation. The resulting loss of tree canopy and forest integrity leads to increased stormwater flows and reduced nutrient retention.

Infestation of species like Japanese knotweed along waterways eliminates native species and their stabilizing root systems, making banks more susceptible to erosion and increasing the amount of sediment in waterways.  

Currently, the Lower Eastern Shore does not participate in any cooperative weed management programs, unlike most other Maryland Counties on the eastern and western shore. There has been little coordinated effort to identify the scope of the problem and the economic impacts of invasive species to our resource-based industries and natural resources here on the Lower Shore. With your assistance, we will collect information to establish a baseline of the extent of the problem and the impacts invasive species have on our area as well as identify the most effective management tools and priorities for addressing  the issues created by invasive species on public and private lands.

 

Since non-native, invasive species see no political boundaries, a community-wide and cooperative approach is needed to combat the rapid spread of these undesirable species.

Image by Ivana Djudic