US Army Corps of Engineers
Jacksonville District Website

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  • March

    Corps defends against invasive lizards

    Cold-stunned green iguanas, dubbed “chicken of the trees,” made national headlines as they fell from the trees in south Florida during a recent cold snap. News stories and social media helped to raise public awareness about the damage that can be wrought by the large invasive lizards, which can reach more than five feet and twenty pounds. According to the media reports, these invaders weren’t just munching their way through the succulent plants of south Florida’s gardens, they also wreaked havoc on private properties and important public infrastructure, shorting out power lines and burrowing under structures, causing some of them to collapse. In one city, they reportedly contributed enough damage to a water control structure that the repair bill reached $1.8 million. Construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of critical infrastructure are key missions for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for the 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee, five navigation locks and dams and recreation areas along the 154-mile long Okeechobee Waterway, and Everglades restoration. Maintaining the integrity of these structures and protecting them from damage is integral to the success of these missions.
  • February

    And how was YOUR day at work?

    While conducting a routine site visit at the S-356 pump station on Tamiami Trail, Zoeller met an 11-foot long Burmese python face-to-face. Fortunately for her, Ruben Ramirez, founder of Florida Python Hunters, had just captured the invasive reptile nearby. Since it takes two hands to handle such a large, muscular, powerful snake, taking a “selfie” was out of the question. So Ramirez enlisted Zoeller’s help. Zoeller, who was on site as part of her normal operations, maintenance, repair, replacement and rehabilitation duties, was happy that she had not run into the large reptile on her own.
  • January

    The battle against invasive species rages on

    Invasive species management is much like fighting an ongoing war while battling multiple insurgencies. Once an area is cleared, constant, diligent defense against new and known invaders is needed to maintain the ground won. In Jacksonville District, the battle against invasive species rages on.
  • December

    Invasive Species Management Branch ramps up outreach

    Invasive Species Management Branch ramps up outreach programs with social media.
  • November

    A Community of Practice is born

    The Invasive Species Leadership Team was established to provide direction to the ongoing research program, represent the Corps on regional invasive species councils and assist Corps headquarters in the development of national invasive species policy and program management.
  • August

    South American lizards slither into south Florida

    Hailing from South America, the tegu, an exotic lizard, has made its way into the Sunshine State and is now considered to be established in the south Florida region.
  • July

    Lionfish continue to populate, pose threats to coral reefs

    Their dorsal spines and zebra-like bodies may draw one in for a closer look. Commonly used in aquariums for show, the invasive lionfish has made its way from the South Pacific and Indian Oceans to the east coast. In the past decade, they’ve been rapidly expanding from Florida to North Carolina, as well as the Caribbean.
  • May

    Giant African snails attack south Florida

    The giant African land snail (GALS) is considered one of the most damaging snails in the world, known to consume at least 500 different types of plants and possibly pose a health threat to humans, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) website.
  • April

    Air Potato Roundup yields big results, educates community

    National Invasive Species Week, held March 2 through 8, focused on raising awareness of non-native threats to local ecosystems and endangered species. Invasive species smother native plants and are one of the greatest ecological threats to natural communities, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior, which also estimates the costs to prevent, monitor and control invasive species at about $137 billion annually.
  • Coastal menace from the Carolinas creeps towards Florida

    The rapidly spreading beach vitex, an invasive vine native to countries in the western Pacific, is creeping down the eastern coast from the Carolinas towards Florida, impacting beach stability and endangering sea turtles.
  • February

    Spencer discusses invasive plants at local science symposium

    In an effort to educate land managers and the public about two plants that are just beginning to invade the Jacksonville area, biologist Jessica Spencer gave a presentation at the 2013 Timucuan Science and History Symposium Jan. 25 in Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Burmese pythons threaten native species and restoration efforts

    A hunt for Burmese pythons in south Florida is not a hoax; this non-native invasive species is threatening Everglades ecosystem restoration efforts and native wildlife. The one-month ‘Python Challenge’ organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allows anyone older than 18 to hunt the snakes on state land. Burmese pythons are exceptionally difficult to locate, due to their camouflaging capabilities. The ISM branch has initiated efforts to detect the pythons by using dogs and thermal energy remote sensing by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
  • January

    Invasive Species biologists combat explosion of aquatic plant growth

    The year 2012 brought many challenges for the Invasive Species Management (ISM) Branch to tackle. Multiple factors led to the highest levels of water hyacinth on Lake Okeechobee since 1986. Water hyacinth invades lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes and other types of wetland habitats. According to the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System website, water hyacinth can reproduce and quickly form dense floating mats of vegetation, sometimes doubling in size over a two week period. These dense mats reduce light and deplete oxygen levels for submerged plants and aquatic invertebrates.