Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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2017 On-the-Ground Efforts

SEWISC Assistance Program

We strive to provide resources for control of invasive species and establishment of native communities in Southeastern Wisconsin. This year, SEWISC had the opportunity to assist more than 20 organizations, agencies and homeowners through funding from EPA/USFS Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, We Energies Foundation and Wisconsin Department Of Natural Resources. Invasive species controlled and managed through these efforts include: common and glossy buckthorn, invasive honeysuckles, multiflora rose, black locust, burning bush, oriental bittersweet, garlic mustard, dame’s rocket, autumn olive, hairy willow herb, wild chervil, lesser celandine, giant hogweed, lyme grass, baby’s breath, yellow iris, purple loosestrife, burdock, java water dropwort, reed mannagrass, common reed grass and Japanese knotweed, barberry and hedge parsley. Check our website for 2018 Assistance Funding application details in early January.

people removing invasive plants in woods man in woods removing invasive plants

2 men pulling garlic mustard

SEWISC 2017 Annual Symposium

Nasty Aquatic Plant & Animal Species: Got ‘em? Get ‘em!

As usual, our 10th Annual Education Symposium was informative and fun! This year’s guest speakers, Paul Skawinski and Brad Steckart, shared information regarding exotic aquatic plant and animal species which are invading our region. Early detection, identification and prompt best management techniques will reduce the negative impacts of these unwelcomed invaders. Symposium attendees celebrated this year’s Sweat Equity Award Winner, Ruth Marshall who diligently strives to educate government officials and the public on invasive plant species issues. Everyone enjoyed local food refreshments and fifteen lucky raffle winners returned home with over $2,800 in donated prizes! Mark your calendars for the 11th Annual Education Symposium: November 14, 2018.

3 people receiving award people looking at plant exibit

Where Ecology Meets Economy – Season 5

Sharing ideas to realistically restore our native plant communities

In partnership with Johnson’s Nursery, Inc. ™ we hosted another networking opportunity for land managers, nurserymen, arborists, landscape architects and many other professionals. This fifth event featured presentations, panel discussions, plus educational tours and workshops sharing ways the green industry and land managers can work together to realistically plan and execute restoration of our plant and wildlife communities. 2017 speakers included: Steven Apfelbaum, Dr. Timothy Ehlinger, Alice Thompson and Aaron Feggestad.

large room of people watching presentation people outside

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Raising awareness across the nation

NISAW logo 400pxNational Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is scheduled for Feb 26 – Mar 2, 2018 and according to experts with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), it's a topic that deserves everyone’s attention. Non-native plants, animals and pathogens can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation's economy. The damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year.

Participate in events across the nation to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional and national scales. Locate an invasive species event in your state or county and plan your own event using the NISAW Toolkit - where and when it works for you!

Nine ways you can help to raise awareness:

  1. Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
  2. Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at
  3. Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at
  4. Don't move firewood - instead, buy it where you'll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at
  5. Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as "weed free."
  6. Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
  7. Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities. Here is a state-by-state list of contacts
  8. Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
  9. Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.pcg logo lg


Don't Move Firewood


Hungry Pests

Though the impact of invasive species is profound, there are important steps we can take to manage infestations and prevent their spread. It all begins with awareness. To learn more about how you can participate, visit: NISAW.

Reed Mannagrass and Water Dropwort

Help us to locate these invaders in your neighborhood

SEWISC is currently partnering with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and Stantec Consulting Services Inc (Stantec) on a three-year early detection and response project to control water dropwort (Oenanthe javonica) and reed mannagrass (Glyceria maxima) along the Bark River in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Early detection is extremely important because invasive species can quickly establish, becoming difficult and costly to eradicate.

mannagrass takeover 375Reed mannagrass is a semi-aquatic, perennial grass that can grow up to 8 feet tall. This species invades wetlands, including swamps, lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers, creeks, ditches, and wet pastures, where it forms monospecific stands that are capable of crowding out native vegetation. It degrades wetland habitats because it is not suitable for nesting and is a poor food source for wildlife. This species is classified as Restricted in Waukesha County according to Wisconsin’s NR 40 Rule.

Water dropwort is an aggressive forb that grows in shallow aquatic habitats and wet or moist sites.  This species spreads rapidly, developing into a ground cover plant that quickly moves into wetlands and choke streams if released in or adjacent to natural areas. This species is classified as Prohibited in Waukesha County according to the NR 40 Rule.

water dropwart wisconsin 375

In early 2017, SEWISC began outreach to residents with known populations along the Bark River to acquire permission for treatments and educate them on the need for long-term control. With landowner permissions in place, Stantec was able to initiate control efforts in August and September 2017 using targeted herbicide applications. Follow-up herbicide treatments will be performed in 2018 and 2019. Revegetation efforts will include establishment of native vegetation after sufficient control of the invasive species. Establishing native plants will stabilize the surface soils in areas where vegetative cover was reduced as a result of treatments, provide competition against future invasion by invasive species and provide habitat for native wildlife.

Help us identify additional populations of water dropwort and reed mannagrass in southeastern Wisconsin to expedite early detection and rapid response efforts by reporting any populations of these invading plant species immediately to the WDNR.

Got Garlic Mustard?

Organize a 2018 Pull-A-Thon Team


Get an early start on your seasonal garlic mustard control and raise funds for long-term control by planning to join the Southeastern Wisconsin 2018 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon, an annual event where we encourage folks throughout southeastern Wisconsin to protect the woodlands of their neighborhoods by pulling this invasive plant.

The pull-a-thon is a friendly competition, a fundraiser, and a way for people to join together and have a positive impact on their environment. Our natural areas will only avoid damage from invasives with a long-term sustained commitment to invasives control.

Visit our website for this year’s Pull-A-Thon results: 2017 SEWISC Pull-A-Thon Results.  And watch for the 2018 pre-event details in February.   If you would like to volunteer as a Team Leader in 2018 and add your worksite location to our event, please email us at: .

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