Spartina Treatment Season & New Ag Director
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Spartina, also known as common cordgrass, is a plant that can disrupt ecosystems, destroy wildlife habitats, and impact a state's shellfish industry. Beginning this month the WSDA will be conducting survey and eradication efforts at the mouth of the Columbia River, Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, the Olympic Peninsula, Hood Canal and Puget Sound, covering more than 80,000 acres of saltwater estuaries and 1,000 miles of shoreline in 12 counties. Spartina eradication efforts in the state have been extremely effective over the past 12 years with infested areas dropping from more than 9,000 acres in 2003 to an estimated eight acres this year.
We had the chance to visit with the newly appointed Director of the WSDA, Derek Sandison, about some of the issues facing him and the state's ag industry in the immediate future.
SANDISON: Obviously it's a very important segment of the state's economy. It's multifaceted; I know some of the issues that have already been raised in discussions here since the Governor appointed me to the position has been the dairy nutrient management, and of course avian flu was also of concern to a lot of folks, so I'm going to be working with staff at the Department of Ag to get on board in terms of the existing programs and existing response protocols that they have in place, and of course getting out in the field with producers and processors to understand more fully the issues and the concerns that they have.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.