On April 14, 2016, Nature Coast CISMA co-chair Bob Lindemuth and Operations Committee Chair Ryan Grumbly, delivered an excellent educational presentation to the UF/IFAS Sumter County Master Gardeners. There were 59 Florida Master Gardeners in attendance. Bob begin the presentation with information on what the Nature Coast CISMA is and the projects that have been completed for 2015. Bob also informed Master Gardeners on workdays and how Master Gardeners can be actively involved in their local CISMA's. Ryan Grumbly spoke during the second half. Ryan discussed the identification, location and control of some of the most invasive plants found in the Nature Coast. Some of the species covered by Ryan included Rosary Pea (Abrus prectorius), Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) and Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera).
On February 17-18 2016 - Nature Coast CISMA representatives were present at the Wildlife and Invasive Species Educational (WISE) event located in Bushnell, Sumter County. Nature Coast CISMA co-chair Bob Lindemuth, delivered an excellent presentation to over 120 attendees. Bob shared recent updates accomplished by the Nature Coast CISMA, success stories and completed projects. Participants consisted of Florida Master Naturalists, UF/IFAS Florida Master Gardeners, landowners and others advocating the conservation of native wildlife and control of invasive species. Nature Coast CISMA representatives also provided an educational booth to provide any information and literature on invasive species and to answer questions about CISMA's. Nature Coast CISMA steering committee member Brian Nelson was also attending, representing the South West Florida Water Management District.
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016: Workday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. north of the Tucker Hill fire tower in the Croom Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest in Brooksville, FL. There were 10 volunteers from Hernando, Pasco, Sumter, and Citrus counties, representing 5 different public land agencies as well as private citizens. Over the course of the day, we treated 38 acres of scattered coral ardesia, Caesar's weed, and wild tarot by collecting seed and spraying herbicide. This workday will prevent the spread of these plants and reduce the foothold they have established, and help native species reclaim the parts of the hammock they were being forced out of.
On November 4th, 2015 the Nature Coast CISMA held the 2nd annual Aquatic Plant Identification Workshop from 9:30-12:00 at the Chinsegut Nature Center on Lake Lindsey Rd. This workshop was created to help individuals identify aquatic plants and to distinguish between native and invasive exotic plants. Out of 30 tickets that were available 22 were sold. A special thanks to John Kunzer and Robbie Lovestrand from FWC's Invasive Plant Management Section for leading the workshop.
Fall of 2013, the Nature Coast Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (NCCISMA) released 100 air potato leaf beetles (Lilioceris cheni) in a 2.37 acre plot infested with the invasive air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) in the 370-acre Churchhouse Hammock section of the preserve located on US 19. As of July 2014, preserve staff encountered a section of highly visible leaf damage on air potato and several Lilioceris cheni beetles 'at work'. We have previously had several 'potato pluck' and spraying treatments here, but the air potato on private property adjacent to the preserve has made overall control of the infestation difficult. We are hoping the success of these beetles will bring the infestation down to a controllable level where we can maintain or eradicate it. For more information on the air potato leaf beetle, please visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in957.
On September 3rd, 2013 Crystal River Preserve hosted a CISMA workday to treat 2.3 acres of air potato. We had folks from two agencies (FPS and SWFWMD) as well as Americorps and volunteers helping to spray. We got great coverage. We would like to thank Kenny Smith of SWFWMD for his assistance with the workday. Kenny is the chair of the Operations Committee for Nature Coast CISMA.