In East Coast Marshes, Goats Take On a Notorious Invader

In East Coast Marshes, Goats Take On a Notorious Invader

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goats eating weeds freshkills park NYCparksPhoto For 30 years, countless man-hours and millions of dollars have been spent trying to tame a pernicious, invasive reed in the eastern U.S. and Canada.

Originally from Europe, Phragmites australis (pronounced “frag-MY-tees”) grows in dense, tall stands that choke off native vegetation and litter wetlands with thick mats of decaying biomass.

Toxic herbicides, controlled burns, and even bulldozers have been the go-to solutions to the problem. But recent research out of Duke University suggests another, less aggressive fix: goats.

A herd of goats was used on a two-acre project at Freshkills Park in Staten Island in 2012 and two years later the test area is healthy with its plantings of native marsh grasses.

(READ the story via Yale University’s 360 blog)

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