DEVENS -- Do you have a favorite paddling or swimming spot where you've found an aquatic plant and wondered if it's native or invasive?

Are you part of a pond committee or river group looking to protect the health of your waterway from invasive plant species?

The Nashua River Watershed Association invites you to join us for a free "Aquatic Plant Identification Workshop" on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Bill Ashe Visitor Center at Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge, 80 Hospital Road.

This 90-minute class will be led by Tom Flannery, aquatic ecologist with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's Lakes and Ponds Program.

The workshop begins with an introduction to the invasive non-native species issue, how exotic species are introduced into our waterways, methods of dispersal, basic terminology, and guidance on performing biweekly monitoring and completing plant surveys.

The remaining three-quarters of the class will engage participants in hands-on identification. A variety of non-native and native plant species are provided, and people are encouraged to bring in their own samples of aquatic plants (no terrestrials please, this is focusing strictly on aquatics).

Participants will become familiar with using a dichotomous key and, although the emphasis is on exotic species, the goal is to teach people how to use the key so that they will be able to identify the majority of common aquatic plants in their lake or pond (native or otherwise).


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This workshop is free and open to the public, made possible by a grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. The workshop is limited to 30 people; pre-registration is required.

To register, please contact Kate McNierney, NRWA office administrator, at 978-448-0299, or email KateM@Nashua RiverWatershed.org.

For more information about the workshop, contact Martha Morgan, NRWA Water Programs Director at MarthaM@Nashua RiverWatershed.org.

The NRWA is a non-profit environmental organization providing water and land protection and environmental education programs to 32 communities in north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.