When a natural area is invaded often by a natural dispersal of seeds, or planting of exotic species that has become naturalized, these “weeds” interfere with the function of the natural community. Invasive plants have been identified at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area. The three-week removal project of the exotics is scheduled to begin Monday, August 25, 2014 in the hopes of attracting native plants and animals to the area such as gopher tortoises and scrub jays. Black and red mangroves will be placed along the shoreline. They have a stronger root system, disperse waves better which will be better at preventing erosion, and create a better habitat for young marine life.
The award-winning magazine The Nature Conservancy states “the estimated damage from invasive species worldwide totals more than $1.4 trillion – five percent of the global economy.” The best way to fight an invasive species is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
- Make sure the plants you are buying for your yard or garden are not invasive/exotic.
- Replace invasive plants in your garden with non-invasive plant alternatives.
- When boating, clean your boat thoroughly before transporting it to another body of water.
- If you hike, clean your boots get rid of “hitchhiking” weed seeds or pathogens.
- Volunteer at your local park, or wildlife area and help remove invasive species.
- Educate others about the threat of invasive plant species and how it affects our environment.
A 20-ton backhoe will do most of the exotic species removal Monday at the Jupiter Inlet, not a prescribed burn that is generally the norm. Hopes of preserving any historic artifacts that may be buried under areas that have not been cleaned out since the early 1960’s have Palm Beach County environmentalists moving cautiously.