The Ohio River Valley Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (ORV CISMA) is getting a new digital presence. Funding from a Duke Energy Foundation grant has enabled the launch of a website, https://orvcisma.org.
The ORV CISMA is a coalition of nonprofits, agencies and businesses working to control and remove invasive species in a 22-county area in the Ohio River Valley. Ohio River Foundation, which originated the project in 2016, is its coordinator.
Its premise is that because invasive plants are expanding across our landscapes faster than people can stop them, a coordinated approach offers the best chance of managing their spread. Non-native, invasive plants compete with and often crowd out native ones, leading to decreased biodiversity, poorer habitats for wildlife (including the pollinators that help our food supply) and lower water quality, among other issues. Examples of invasive plants in the Ohio River Valley include Amur honeysuckle, Callery pear, Autumn olive, lesser celandine and wintercreeper.
“The CISMA’s goal is to reduce the invasive plant populations and seed bank in Greater Cincinnati, thus slowing the spread of these harmful plants and helping native species thrive,” said ORF Executive Director Rich Cogen. “With the resulting increased biodiversity, ecosystems become more resilient to a changing climate.
“By sharing information and resources, the organizations in the CISMA can more effectively work toward that goal,” Cogen added. “Having a dedicated website offers us a new way to involve the public in this important work.”
Current projects aimed at removing invasives — including Ohio River Foundation and Cincinnati Parks’ efforts at Alms Park and ongoing habitat restoration work at both Cincinnati Nature