As the second greatest threat to biodiversity after human development, invasive species pose an enormous risk to California’s native plants, wildlife, waterways and communities. Invasive plants reproduce quickly and crowd out the state’s native plants and animals, as well as take hold of our precious waterways and increase flood risk. What more, invasives can keep us from the outdoor activities we love by overtaking the landscapes and natural areas we enjoy. There’s a huge cost too – managing invasive plants costs California’s taxpayers more than $80 million a year.
“Invasive plants are like champion Olympians – higher, faster, stronger,” explains Jan Merryweather, PlantRight’s Senior Project Manager. “They are the first to get to the sun, their seed production is prolific, and they often replace the natural forage for our native animals and insects. Some clog waterways; some can even alter soil composition. Many are fire hazards, too.”
Keeping invasive plants out of our landscapes is critical to preserving California’s unique biodiversity. And with your support, Sustainable Conservation has successfully secured partnerships with a number of big-box stores, including The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Orchard Supply Hardware, to stop the sale of invasive plants in their California stores.
About 70% of garden plants are purchased from these big-box retailers, making their participation in planting right indispensable. By using PlantRight’s annual “plant list” – which identifies top invasives and suggests alternatives for them – these industry leaders will greatly further the effort to protect California’s landscapes, wildlife and waterways.
Your ongoing support also enables PlantRight to strike partnerships with plant scientists, breeders and distributors to prevent problem plants from being introduced in the first place. From these relationships came our peer-reviewed, science-based PRE tool (Plant Risk Evaluation), which predicts with 98% accuracy the invasive behavior risk of plants in any given region.
Learn more about PlantRight here, and make sure to checkout the other Sustainable Conservation initiatives your support has made possible here.