WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board renewed an ongoing contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to research, develop and rear biocontrol insects to help combat the threat posed by invasive plants to the native Everglades ecosystem.
The groundbreaking work will be performed at the USDA Invasive Plant Research Laboratory in Davie, Florida, constructed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers in partnership with the SFWMD and USDA. This initiative is part of an integrated pest management approach to tackle invasive and harmful species and identify and rear insects to control the spread of invasive plants. Earlier this year, the lab facilitated the release of a Brazilian insect known as thrips that will help combat invasive Brazilian peppers that have invaded hundreds of thousands of acres throughout South Florida.
Biocontrols are rigorously tested to ensure they will feed on the invasive plant being targeted and not negatively impact the native ecosystem before they are released.
The vote by the Governing Board today will fund the development of biocontrols for the earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis) plant
For more updates on SFWMD's work: