Virginia Creeks in Mixed Condition

Phragmites australis (commons.wikimedia.org).

Phragmites australis (commons.wikimedia.org).

     According to Tim Russell, lab technician with the College of William and Mary’s Keck Environmental Lab, Virginia’s Powhatan Creek is in good condition. “This is what a healthy freshwater tidal marsh should look like,” he said, gesturing to an area of arrow arum, pickerelweed, cordgrass and giant bulrush. These, among other plants, formed a “healthy mix” found near the creek’s mouth. Nearby Mill Creek wasn’t so lucky; phragmites australis had overrun the landscape, leaving little room for local flora. Phragmites is an aggressive invasive, outgrowing native plants in more ways than one; stands of it can reach 12 feet in height.  Russell said he plans to present a Ware Creek Watershed Management Plan soon, containing a program to deal with another invasive, Kudzu.