Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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Where Ecology Meets Economy:

A forum for green industry & land management professionals

Registration is now open - and seats are limited so act now!

Don't miss this new opportunity to network with land managers, nurserymen, arborists, landscape architects and many other professionals. This amazing and innovative event will feature presentations, panel discussions, plus guided tours discussing ways the green industry and land managers can benefit each other. Speakers for the event include: Brent McCown, Brian Russart, Steve McCarthy & Michael Yanny. We will see you there!

people walking down country laneWhen: September 26, 2013; 8:00am - 3:00pm

Where: Johnson's Nursery; W180 N6275 Marcy Road, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

How to register: visit WhereEcologyMeetsEconomy_RegistrationForm.pdf

Hosted by: Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.

& Johnson's Nursery, Inc.™

The purpose of the meeting is to create personal dialog between the two groups that have not traditionally shared their experiences. The hope is that the meeting will initiate the development of working relationships to create business opportunities and help improve the state of our ecological communities. The full-day event will feature presentations about ways the Green Industry and Land Managers can work together for mutual benefit. A topical panel discussion and educational tours of Johnson's Nursery native's plant production are also scheduled.


Roadside Invasive Plant Survey

SEWISC Team delivers data to our local roadway managers

Ozaukee County Highway Department StaffJohn Lewis, Jennifer Rothstein and Alex Rothstein meet with Ozaukee County Highway Department Staff to discuss long-term management of invasive species along roadsides.A team of three committed representatives is meeting with southeastern Wisconsin roadside maintenance crews to deliver location and population size data for five invasive species which were recently mapped through the efforts of more than 150 volunteers. Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) was mapped by citizen scientists in 2012 while common and cut-leaved teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris and D. laciniatus), common reed grass (Phragmites australis) and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) populations were the target of 2011 efforts.

With the aid of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding through the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) has partnered with SEWISC to schedule meetings with key representatives in more than 100 cities, towns and villages in Washington, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha Counties.

The SEWISC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the recruitment of three highly-qualified representatives, John Lewis, Jennifer Rothstein and Alex Rothstein, who are dedicated to the task before them. In addition to the mapped data, this team will deliver basic invasive species educational presentations along with draft long-term management plans. Each local government will be asked to adopt a final version of the plan and develop an annual budget for managing roadside invasive plants. The budgets will be used to help secure funding assistance if needed.

tracktor mowing side of highwayVolunteer surveyors will be notified of the meetings scheduled in their mapping areas and we hope that many will attend to support our efforts and encourage the control of these problematic species by their local roadway managers.

As part of this project, OWLT will also prioritize and begin contacting private landowners concerning populations which were mapped by our volunteers on those properties, beyond the road right-of-way. Management assistance will be offered to those landowners.

OWLT funding is also available for controlling populations of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and lyme grass (Leymus arenarius). Please report locations of lyme grass and purple loosestrife to: Mike Hoffer at: .


SEWISC Internship Program:

2013 Field Experiences

During the summer, ten students participated in fieldwork internships around Southeastern Wisconsin. Though all of the projects didn't include manually removing invasive species, they were able to help their mentors in more ways than one.

Kevin Korth UW-Milwaukee graduate studentKevin Korth, UW-Milwaukee graduate studentIntern Kevin Korth is a graduate student in the UW-Milwaukee School of Environmental Geography. His specialty is GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and he came to our internship considerably more experienced in the application of GIS techniques and the visualization of spatial information than his immediate advisor, Dr. Jim Reinartz. Despite his extensive education in GIS this project allowed him to profit greatly from the application of his education to a real-life mapping project. Kevin worked to produce a first-ever topographic (or rather bathymetric) map of the variations in depth within the Cedarburg Bog basin from data that has been collected over decades at the UWM Field Station. The map that Kevin produced is going to be of great value to future research in the Cedarburg Bog Natural Area.

Jerry Ziegler manages seven nature preserves in Southeastern Wisconsin where both Chloe Soik and Brian Cashion worked. Brian worked on various projects including removing invasive species and gathering purple loosestrife beetles to propagate and release. He also placed boundary signs utilizing GPS equipment without the help of previous fence lines in a densely wooded area that was recently acquired. Chloe, on the other hand, was able to focus on a single project. At one of the nature preserves Jerry uses a trap camera to record the people that use the area. This trap camera would take a photo every 12 seconds during the daylight hours leading up to 3,000 to 4,000 photos a day. Chloe was able to develop a speedy way of going through the photos as well as create an excel spreadsheet to better categorize them.Joe-Nelson-and-Kate-Carney-UW-Milwaukee-Department-of-Geography-undergraduate-studentsJoe Nelson and Kate Carney, UW-Milwaukee Department of Geography undergraduate students

At the Mequon Nature Preserve, Kristin Gies had the help of interns Kate Carney and Joe Nelson. Their project was a continuation of work that other students did last year. They researched and mapped the locations of sweet clover and thistle populations on the preserve and collected an extensive amount of data. They then created a map in ArcGIS using the help of the City of Mequon's GIS Coordinator. Once the map was completed they were able to see the progress of the preserves work on controlling these populations over the years.
Other students placed with mentors this summer include Julee Mitchell and Jeremy Turnmeyer (Schlitz Audubon Internship), Alex Marks and Aron Moberg (Bookworm Gardens Internship) and Michael Denis (Ozaukee County Planning & Parks Internship).

If you are a student who is interested in an internship or a mentor who would like to provide a learning experience, contact our SEWISC Internship Coordinator, Cassie Rincon, at: .


Meet a New Invader

A new invasive has recently arrived in Wisconsin. According to Lisie Kitchel, Wisconsin DNR Conservation Biologist, the Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) has spread both intentionally and unintentionally through typical invasive aquatic pathways such as boating, bait bucket disposal and aquarium releases.

Asian clam Corbicula flumineaAsian clam (Corbicula fluminea)Corbicula was first reported in Wisconsin in 1977 from the St. Croix River area. Subsequent reports include the Mississippi River (1981), Lake Superior (1997), and Lake Michigan (2001). In 2012 it was reported in the Mukwonago River and associated lakes; the first time it was confirmed in a Wisconsin inland waterway.

The greatest threat Asian clams pose is from sheer numbers. They are hermaphroditic, can self-fertilize, and reproduce twice a year resulting in 70,000 young per year, according to Kitchel. Although not as prolific as zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. bugensis), they still can overwhelm the bottom of a waterbody, becoming the primary component of the substrate and competing with native species for food and space.

Asian clams affect water quality, releasing high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen that promote algal blooms and affect the taste of the water. They are also known biofoulers in water treatment plants, power plants, pipes and irrigation systems.

Wisconsin is at the northern edge of the temperature range for Asian clams, and that limits how abundant Asian clams will become. However, they are known to overwinter at power plants in the warmer effluent, giving them a head start on next year's invasion, Kitchel said. They also appear to be surviving our winters better than expected.

Zebra left and Quagga right musselsZebra (left) and Quagga (right) musselsAsian clams can grow to the size of a quarter, but usually are closer to the size of a nickel or dime. Their yellow-to-brown colored shells are thick with distinct ridged concentric rings. Our native fingernail or pea clams (Sphaeriidae) are similarly shaped, but thinner-shelled and the lines are not raised, and only grow as big as a pea or dime.

The invasive zebra and quagga mussels are also similar to Asian clams in size but are triangular or D-shaped, often black and white striped, and when live are attached by black threads to surfaces. Asian and native clams are more round and symmetrical and never attach to surfaces.

Report invasive species at:


Save the date: SEWISC 2013 Annual Symposium

Invasive Species and Our Native Wildlife

1:00 pm Wednesday, November 13th

Havenwoods Environmental Awareness Center
6141 N. Hopkins Street, Milwaukee WI 53209

SEWISC membershavenwoods

Celebrate our recent accomplishments, meet this year’s Sweat Equity Award Winner and learn about our plans for 2014 and beyond. 

This year’s guest speakers will discuss the effects of invasive species on our native wildlife. 

The symposium is free and open to the public.  Local refreshments will be served.

Contact: to become a 2013 Symposium sponsor and/or to display at this event!