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Posted 9/5/2014

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By Erica Skolte
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District

Jacksonville District team members along with a diverse group of 143 members attended the 2014 Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (ECISMA) Summit, July 23- 24 in Davie, Fla. to learn about recent efforts and plan for the upcoming year.

The ECISMA is one of many formal partnerships of federal, state, and local government agencies, tribes, individuals and various interested groups that manage invasive species throughout Florida.

For some, a conference is simply a place to sit and listen. For the partners of ECISMA, the annual summit is always a call to action.

The first day of the summit allowed members an opportunity to provide updates on their efforts, research, successes, and lessons learned.

“The Everglades CISMA is one of the best examples of interagency cooperation that I have seen. You come to the summit and you see federal partners, tribal members, state agencies, county parks, city workers, zoo employees, non-profit groups and researchers from various universities. Invasive species have no boundaries, so our efforts to combat them must reach across boundaries as well,” said Jessica Spencer, a biologist in the Jacksonville District’s Invasive Species Management Branch. Spencer works with CISMAs throughout Florida.

According to the agency, the ECISMA help ensure the success of Everglades restoration while formalizing areas of coordination and cooperation among agencies. It will provide multi-organizational agreement and support toward the development of an Invasive Species Master Plan as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

Jacksonville District’s chief of the Invasive Species Management Branch, Jon Lane said, “The ECISMA Summit is an opportunity to learn about the latest research and control efforts for a wide variety of invasive species, both plants and animals from the leading experts in the field working in the Everglades. But the summit is about more than just coming to listen and learn. It is action-oriented. The decisions and actions enacted and carried out by ECISMA partners are critical to the success of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and true restoration of the Everglades.”