Our 2015/16 Fundraising Goal

We're currently raising funds for the management of cattails throughout the Viera Wetlands—officially known as the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands. Our goal is balanced management, not 100% removal, because cattails are native plants: they provide valuable wildlife habitat for a number of species. However, if left unchecked, cattails will form a dense monoculture, displacing vegetation necessary to support wildlife diversity. Unchecked growth of cattails also reduces open water, equally important to a diverse ecosystem, and may impede the treatment process for which the wetlands were constructed.  
After surveying for the presence of nesting birds, we can either treat cattails with herbicides approved for use in aquatic settings, or harvest them mechanically.  At the present time, we rely entirely on the former method.  Cattails that are treated with herbicides first turn brown, then dry, and eventually decay, releasing nutrients back into the wetlands system—but in doing so, they also create muck.  The rate at which this muck is deposited warrants attention.    
We anticipate an appropriate harvester will soon become available, and plan to utilize when conditions permit.  Harvesting cattails has the benefit of removing vegetative matter from the wetlands, which otherwise would eventually become muck.
Both methods are costly and time-consuming, and cattails are an ongoing concern at the wetlands.  We have set a first-year fundraising goal of $5000, largely to fund harvester operations when they become available.
Cattails - Without management (left) and with management (right)
Cattails - Without management (left) and with management (right)

Unless otherwise specified, your donation will benefit our current goal, as outlined above.

If you prefer, use the "Message" field below to indicate your preference in support of one of our other management programs: 

  • Berm Maintenance – to maintain, repair, and manage the berm roads.
  • Volunteer Program – to supply volunteers with safety gear, tools, training, etc.
  • Habitat Management – to control invasive vegetation in and around the wetlands.

Please double-check your donation amount. There are no refunds for donations. 

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Goal: $ 5000