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Environmental – Invasive Plants

A plant is termed ‘invasive’ when it is non-native to the ecosystem in which it is found and has the ability to cause harm. Invasive plants proliferate aggressively and successfully and have the potential to out compete native vegetation, change soil characteristics, and negatively impact waterbodies.

Elodea, a submerged aquatic invasive plant, has been found in slow moving waters in Anchorage, Cordova, and Fairbanks. Elodea spreads easily from broken plant segments, making the operation of float planes and other watercraft in infested waters prime agents for spreading Elodea. Once a water body is infested, Elodea can degrade fish habitat, impede navigation, and endanger safe floatplane operations.

Preventing Elodea’s spread to uninfected waters is essential. Measures to inhibit the spread of Elodea include removing any plants from floats and watercraft, draining water from floats and raising and lowering rudders, and completely drying gear between visits to different water bodies.

For more information on Elodea see the Helpful Links below.

Helpful Links

In July of 2015, the Fairbanks Soil Water Conservation District, General Aviation Association, and Fairbanks International Airport employees conducted an invasive plant survey of the Fairbanks Airport Float Pond. Sixteen locations along the pond’s perimeter were sampled. Elodea was not found at any sampling location.

For more information regarding the invasive plant survey, see the link below.

Invasive Plant Survey