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Harvesting Invasive Plants for Fertilizer and Fuel
Researchers who work in wetlands in Michigan are taking a new approach to invasive plants. They’re harvesting them for fertilizer and fuel.

When you’re in the middle of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, you don’t realize how massive it is. It’s 10,000 acres of marshes and bogs, forest and farmland. To put the size in perspective, Manhattan is roughly 15,000 acres.

Brendan Carson is a researcher from Loyola University Chicago. He’s working on a project at the wildlife refuge centered around harvesting cattails. Carson says the project is designed to let the cattails grow all summer, absorbing the nutrients like a sponge, before the harvesting takes place.

Carson says harvesting invasive plants is more cost effective than spraying them with chemicals.


 
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City Hauls in Over a Tonne of Invasive Goldfish - Goldfish are an invasive species in Alberta that can outcompete native fish if released into the wild. They’ve been in the isolated Lacombe Lake Park for decades, but were only spotted in Edgewater in 2015 and in Ted Hole last spring. That sparked concern, as those ponds had a sewer link to the Sturgeon River. The city broke out the pesticides on the advice of Alberta Environment after nets, electricity and winter’s icy grasp failed to eliminate the invaders.


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