Invasive Species Containment and Outreach

Overview: Didymo is an invasive algae that was identified in the River in 2008, and is known to be disruptive to aquatic ecosystems. The algae thrives in cold, nutrient-poor water and tends to mat in heavy carpet-like clumps and choke out macroinvertebrates, (a.k.a. trout food). It has been shown that the algae can easily be transported and thus “carried” on felt-soled wading shoes that anglers use, in the water and surfaces present in and on kayaks and canoes and in footwear hikers and birders would use to traverse the stream.

Project: GRK will continue the maintenance of MD/DNR wader wash stations (ongoing since 2008), and create a print and web media campaign to engage river user groups within the upper watershed above Loch Raven. This outreach will include educating the public about cleaning and drying methods for footwear, angling equipment, boats, and boating equipment that can serve as a vector for Didymo.

Benefits: This project and its strong stewardship message will provide much-needed outreach among varied recreational user groups in order to contain the invasive algae Didymo, which will safeguard shared waters within the watershed and waters beyond.


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