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Long IslandTowns

Grant to help wipe out West Meadow invasive plants

Brookhaven Town and Ward Melville Heritage Organization have received state grants to help wipe out an invasive plant species at West Meadow Peninsula that could threaten Long Island's salt marsh ecosystem if left unchecked.

On June 15, the state Department of Environmental Conservation granted the town $15,000 and the Stony Brook-based nonprofit organization $10,000 to control the spread of the nonnative Lepidium latifolium, commonly known as perennial pepperweed.

The groups will use a combination of mechanical and manual methods to control the herbaceous plant, and continue a long-term inspection to check for recurring growth for the next decade. Brookhaven will also use herbicide.

“Such invasives need to be removed as soon as possible to ensure that the native species of flora and the fauna that depend on those native species are not lost at West Meadow Beach,” said Brookhaven Councilman Steven Fiore-Rosenfeld.

The efforts to curb perennial pepperweed growth will begin this summer.