1970s: Army Corps of Engineers planted Spartina alternifolia, a resident of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, in an effort to stabilize levees around the South Bay salt ponds.
October 13, 1970: California Clapper rail listed as endangered
The dense growth of smooth cordgrass also traps and holds sediments and can clog flood control and navigation channels and alter hydrology.
Clones spread laterally by vegetative shoots, often three andone-thirdfeet(>1 m) per year (Callaway and Josselyn 1992). Over time, circular patches fuse together, and mudflats are transformed into meadows of smooth cordgrass. [source]
1980s: native cordgrass displaced, tidal marshes suffocated
2000: California Coastal Conservancy partners with the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge to create the Invasive Spartina Project
2010: the hybrid swarm had been reduced by 90 percent to less than 100 net acres
- Native Spartina foliosa is threatened with local extinction as a result of hybridization with S. alterniflora. If the hybrid population is left unchecked, it is anticipated that native Spartina foliosa could become the first naturally dominant plant species to go extinct in its own ecosystem since the passage of the Endangered Species Act of 1973
2011, 2012: ISP planted more than 165,000 California cordgrass and gumplant seedlings
Nov 21, 2013: Bay Researchers Fight Uphill Battle with Invasive Cordgrass