The SW x SW Corner CISMA is a grant funded program that covers Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties in Southwest Michigan. The CISMA works to preserve natural ecosystem functions through the responsible management of invasive species on a landscape scale. In order to achieve this, the primary focus of the project is mapping & surveying invasive species populations, education, and maintaining a strategic plan to properly manage and eradicate invasive species.
An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan’s economy, environment and human health. Species like poison ivy or Virginia creeper may not be our favorites, but they are native to Michigan, and play an important part in our environment!
Contact Alex Florian, Invasive Species Coordinator, to help with identification, reporting, and proper management by calling 269-633-9044 or emailing email@example.com.
Berrien Conservation District Open House
SWxSW Corner CISMA Annual Meeting
This year’s annual meeting was held virtually on Thursday February 10, 2022. It was a great opportunity to meet your CISMA team, learn about what we do, and tell us about how invasive species impact you.
We welcomed Mitch Lettow from the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy as our keynote speaker to talk about “Stories from the Understory and Overstory: Restoration Lessons Learned from our Plant Partners.”
You can access the recorded meeting here: https://youtu.be/eTePOBBRtC0
Mitigating Impacts of Early Species through Consistent Management
Through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program, the SWxSW Corner CISMA can provide management of the high priority invasive plants, Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) and Kudzu (Pueraria montana), at no cost to the property owner.
There is currently one known population of Stiltgrass, and five known populations of Kudzu in Southwest Michigan. Management of these species is ongoing, and we are committed to the eradication of these species from our service area. For more information regarding these species and their identification, see the Stiltgrass or Kudzu profile on the Michigan Invasive Species Information Network website. If you know of locations where these plants can be found, please contact the Strike Team Coordinator, Abbie Bristol, by emailing or texting photos and details or by phone (269-633-9058) with questions.
Monitoring the Prohibited Aquatic Plant, Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
The SWxSW Corner CISMA is collaborating with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to regularly monitor known Southwest Michigan populations of Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum), a high-priority invasive aquatic plant that is new to Michigan.
This plant was brought to the United States as an aquatic ornamental plant, but can now be found in lakes and ditches with slow-moving water. It creates dense mats of vegetation that can interfere with recreation and creates habitat for mosquito larvae. When a piece of the plant breaks off, it easily spreads to new lakes on the wings of a bird, the paddle of a kayak, or the rotor of a boat. Parrot feather is listed on the Michigan Prohibited Aquatic Plant List and should therefore not be moved off-site if it is found. If you think you’ve seen this species, contact the EGLE Aquatic Invasive Species Program at EGLE-WRD-ANC@michigan.gov
Outreach Events and Community Support
The SWxSW Corner CISMA is here to help you learn more about invasive species. We:
Have you seen a plant, animal, or insect that seems to be invasive? Snap a good picture or two and shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Invasive species are easiest to manage when they are first introduced, since it is much easier to mange just a few plants, instead of acres of them. Because of this, Early Detection is key to protecting our resources! We lean on partners, residents, and citizen scientists to help report emerging species, since they see far more of the county than the CISMA ever will. When you spot invasive species, we encourage you to report them using MISIN!
MISIN, the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network, is program through MSU to help identify and map invasive species throughout the area. Using either the website or the phone app, you can report invasive species locations for managers and municipalities. Or, visit the website to look at what has been reported in your area!
*If you think you have an invasive species in your body of water, please contact the SWxSW Corner CISMA Coordinator by calling 269-633-9044 or emailing email@example.com.