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White Oak Nature Trail to close for spraying Tuesday

A sign outside the White Oak Nature Trail

A sign outside the White Oak Nature Trail in Shirley advises that the trail will be closed on Tuesday for herbicide treatments. (Sept. 9, 2011) Photo Credit: Christopher Corry

The White Oak Nature Trail in Shirley will be closed on Tuesday for herbicide treatments to remove an invasive plant in the area.

The cleanup is a continuation of an effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore 30 acres of tidal marsh at the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge this fall. White Oak is located within the refuge.

The main goal of the effort is to remove common reed, an aquatic invasive plant, found in the area that competes with native species for space, water and nutrients.

The cleanup involves chemical and mechanical treatment on an area overlapping the trail, said Monica Williams, wildlife biologist at the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

The herbicide treatment will be conducted by a licensed contractor experienced in working with wetland habitats, whose workers will use a special truck to get through the salt marsh and in some cases on boats to get to the plants.

Depending on weather, the trail should reopen on Wednesday.

“We should be able to finish up in just one day,” Williams said. “Rain or high wind would deter the process.”

A sign outside the White Oak Nature Trail in Shirley advises that the trail will be closed on Tuesday for herbicide treatments. (Sept. 9, 2011) Photo by Christopher Corry

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