Phragmites in fall along Southpoint Road. Photo by C. Leinbach

Editor’s note: To learn more about phragmites, see the Ocracoke Observer’s article by Pat Garber. Click here.

February 18, 2015

Presentation to be held at the Ocracoke Community Center on Feb. 23 and the Fessenden Center, Buxton, Feb. 24.

The National Park Service Outer Banks Group Know Your Park citizen science program series continues this winter with upcoming scheduled presentations.

Rob Emens, environmental specialist for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will present a program describing the efforts to stop the spread of Phragmites, australis australis, an invasive Eurasian plant species along the coastal shorelines of North Carolina.  The program will take place in two locations: at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb, 23, in the Ocracoke Community Center and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the Fessenden Center in Buxton.  Both programs are free and will last approximately one hour.

Phragmites is a large, coarse, perennial grass often found in wetlands.  Although scattered clumps of phragmites provide cover for small mammals and birds, it usually forms large, dense stands that provide little value for wildlife.  Phragmites reduces the diversity of plant and wildlife species.  The spread of phragmites is a significant resource issue at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

An understanding of the impacts of phragmites and other invasive plants along North Carolina’s coast has important implications to the park and local communities.

Mr. Emens is one of North Carolina’s experts in aquatic weed control.  His presentation will identify specific invasive aquatic plants and the impact they have on natural occurring communities, including seashore dunes.

The Know Your Park citizen science program series is designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring national park sites–Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.

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  1. This campaign against invasive plants is inconsistent with the policy “Let nature take its course.” NPS cites this to justify regulations opposing the needs and wants of Homo sapiens in re: beach access and re-nourishment, land transfer and more.

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