What We Do

Technician standing in a truck bed, looking through a spotting scope to evaluate wetlands extending in from of them.

Technician surveys for invasive species on partner lands using the truck bed and a spotting scope.

Photos by DR-WLE CWMA/Alexa Blankenship

Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR)


The field crew spends the late spring and summer surveying across all partner lands to search for invasive plant species in the freshwater marshes, lakeplain prairies, mesic (wet) forests, and surrounding habitats that line the shoreline of the Detroit River and Lake Erie. They search for over 30 species of invasive and non-native grasses, aquatic plants, vines, herbaceous forbs, and woody tree/shrub species.

They monitor size, density, and treatment history of the invasive populations they find and share these surveys with members who use these data to prioritize treatment and evaluate ecosystem health

After a brief break from surveys, the technicians are back to the field with treatment plans, meaning they have evaluated the many populations across the ecosystems, and determined which invasive populations will and will not be eradicated that year. The strike team uses a combination of chemical and mechanical eradication methods, first killing the plants, and then removing the biomass.

And then the cycle repeats…

Invasive species eradication is a multi-year project, as one season’s treatment is usually not sufficient. Depending on the invasive species, a three-year program can be enough to fully remove a population from an area, but population size and density are closely monitored to determine treatment methods year to year.

Technician treating invasive tree species in coastal habitat
Technician treats woody invasives on partner lands.

“The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it.”

Barry Commoner

Contact Us

Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Cooperative Weed Management Area
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
5437 West Jefferson Ave
Trenton MI, 48183