Do you hike, ride, bird, camp, fish, or otherwise recreate in state parks, forests or wildlands? Lend YOUR eyes to help Maryland’s biodiversity! Did you know? Maryland has over 1200 rare, threatened or endangered native species, of the more than 15,000 species recorded in the state. Unfortunately, habitat loss and invasive species threaten our native species, even the common ones. One of the best ways to protect Maryland’s native species is to remove invasive plants and restore invaded sites. To tackle the problem quickly and efficiently, we need more information about how much of which invasive plants grow where. That’s where you can help!
An invasive species is a species that:
For more information, see our Invasive Species page.
Here is the text of current Maryland law defining invasive plants, as it was passed.
The Maryland Natural Heritage Program designed Statewide Eyes to allow volunteers and researchers alike to collect more information about invasive plants on state lands quickly. Volunteers (like you!) use a free mobile application called the Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network (MAEDN) to identify, photograph and map the location of invasive plants, focusing on ecologically significant sites.
The data are sent to the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System or EDDMapS, a nationwide mapping system, to be freely displayed and available for download and analysis. The information gathered allows Department of Natural Resources scientists to:
Are you ready to help? If so, then please sign up here, via Google for a day-long training session to learn species identification, and how to use the MAEDN app to collect and report invasive plant data. This training session is a qualified ADVANCED Master Naturalist training; Master Naturalist hours spent on this project count for both your host training site AND for the Department of Natural Resources.
The sessions will be held from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, and will include both classroom and field work. Please bring a bagged lunch, your smart phone or handheld device, and the right clothes to head outside for part of the workshop.
Here are the species that the Statewide Eyes Trainings cover by region:
The Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network is a vast network of land managers, field experts, citizen scientists, naturalists, gardeners and others interested in documenting invasive plant occurrences in the mid-Atlantic region for the purposes of early detection, improved management and better coordination. The region includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) is a web-based mapping system for documenting invasive species distribution. Launched in 2005 by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia, it was originally designed as a tool for state Exotic Pest Plant Councils to develop more complete distribution data of invasive species.
Over 2.8 million records are logged on EDDMapS. For more information, see: https://www.eddmaps.org/
Here is a sample map from EDDMapS of wavyleaf basketgrass (Oplismenus undulatifolius) infestations outside Baltimore:
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401