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NEWS | Aug. 9, 2017

Langley to conduct aerial herbicide spraying

By Senior Airman Derek Seifert 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base Langley-Eustis will conduct an aerial herbicide spray over Langley Air Force Base, Aug. 15-17, 2017, to remove the invasive plant, Phragmites australis.


The spraying will affect the areas around the nature trail, marshy areas around the running track, old Tide Mill Lane Bridge (near the B-52 Stratofortress static display) and the marshy areas north of Service Road by enlisted service member housing.


“This invasive weed reduces overall biodiversity in sensitive marsh communities where it is found,” said Alicia Garcia, 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron natural resources program manager. “By removing it where we can, we help remove competition from this plant within our sensitive marsh communities.”


Spraying the Phragmites australis will not only improve the biodiversity of specific marsh areas on Langley Air Force Base, it will also benefit the flightline, where the plant also provides cover for wildlife. By removing the plant, wildlife will be less likely to come in contact with air operations.


“Avoiding (Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard) incidents ultimately protects wildlife, such as shorebirds, in addition to protecting the military mission,” said Garcia.


According to Garcia, the herbicides will only be applied under appropriate environmental conditions, which factor in wind direction and speed. No drift over non-target areas is anticipated.