Invasive Cordgrass Eradicated in Padilla Bay

The Takeaway: Natural resource managers benefit from Padilla Bay’s experience in removing and controlling invasive species.

The Takeaway: Spartina, often known as cordgrass, provides critical coastal habitat along the Gulf and East Coasts. On the West Coast, it’s a different story. Here this nonnative aquatic grass is an invasive species. Spartina overcrowds mudflat habitat used by the oyster industry, thus affecting the livelihoods of oyster farmers, and causes sediment build-up that contributes to coastal flooding.

Significant patches of Spartina thrived within Padilla Bay—17 acres of it—in 1997. The Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve conducted extensive studies and implemented numerous eradication approaches over the years. In 2015 victory was finally declared, as Spartina was eradicated from Padilla Bay. Natural resource managers throughout the region now look to this reserve for information and guidance for invasive species removal methods and control. (2016)

Partners: Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Skagit County Noxious Weed Board, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Agriculture