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Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership

Formal Collaboration Against Invasive Plant Species Begins

New group takes root in New Hampshire coastal watershed

Greenland, N.H. (May 20, 2008) – Eleven state and federal agencies and nonprofit conservation groups announced today the Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership (CWIPP). The partnership’s goal is to cooperate on assessing the extent and controlling invasive species in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed, an area spanning 42 towns in Strafford and Rockingham counties.

With the signing of the official agreement, a strong alliance has been formed to stop the spread of invasive plants in New Hampshire's Seacoast region.

Invasive plant species are non-native plants that aggressively out-compete native species and degrade the quality of our lands and waters.

“By cooperating on invasive plant species management, this partnership is helping to protect and restore the ecological integrity of New Hampshire’s coastal watershed,” said Tom Burack, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

Native plants are being strangled, choked, shaded-out, or toppled by invasive shrubs, vines and trees. Invasive plants know no boundaries. They span landscapes and properties, making collaboration essential. In addition to the signing members, organizations, landowners, and municipalities will participate in CWIPP, bringing together resources and expertise to complete invasive species management projects and restore native habitats.

CWIPP is based on the model of a cooperative weed management area, an organizational structure popular in the western U.S., incorporating the following: defined geographic area; involvement and representation from all stakeholders; governed by a steering committee; committed to cooperation; and guided by a comprehensive management plan.

Several similarly modeled invasive plant species partnerships have formed throughout New England, but this is the first time such a partnership will be formalized through a partnership agreement. Signatories to the agreement commit to work together on invasive plant species management for five years. 

A copy of the partnership agreement is posted with this press release at www.des.nh.gov/press.asp or is available upon request.