Invasive Management Area: Cape Island Habitat Restoration Task Force

Invasive Management Area: Cape Island Habitat Resoration Task Force

Non-native invasive vines at Cape May Point State Park – Photo by Rick Glammaria, PHI Photo Services

Non-native invasive vines at Cape May Point State Park.

Wade Veselka, 2011 CIHRTF intern, removes invasive vines from a young native tree – Photo by Suzanne Treyger, NJA

Wade Veselka, 2011 CMHRTF intern, removes invasive vines from a young native tree.

Clematis – Photo by Suzanne Treyger, NJA


Field blindweed – Photo by Suzanne Treyger, NJA

Field blindweed.

Mile-a-minute – Photo by Suzanne Treyger, NJA


About the Task Force

The Cape May Habitat Restoration Task Force is a Coordinated Weed Management Area (CWMA). CWMA's are located throughout the U.S. and have the objective of bringing together public and private partners at a local or regional scale to better address invasive species issues relevant to the area.

New Jersey Audubon Society initiated the Cape May Habitat Restoration Task Force (CMHRTF) to control invasive plants and improve wildlife habitat by surveying, managing, and monitoring critical habitats throughout the Cape May Peninsula.

CMHRTF partners and participants include:

About Cape May Peninsula

The Cape May Peninsula includes all properties located in Cape May County.  When the Task Force began in 2010, the group focused primarily on Cape Island which includes all areas south of the canal.  Then in April 2014, the Task Force expanded its focus to include all properties within the Cape May Peninsula, including Cape May Point, Cape May City, West Cape May, Lower Twp, Middle Twp, Dennis Twp, Upper Twp, Woodbine, Avalon, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, and the Wildwoods.

Cape May Peninsula: Providing Critical Habitat for Wildlife

Cape Island and the Cape May Peninsula is a Global Important Bird Area (IBA) in New Jersey. Well known as an important stopover site for birds during spring and fall migration, the Cape May Peninsula also has a variety of habitat types that are used by state threatened and endangered species.

Why Manage Invasive Plants?

Non-native invasive plants often out-compete native vegetation, eventually dominating entire landscapes and creating monocultures of exotic species. Native plants are very beneficial and provide a diverse mix of suitable habitats for Cape May’s wildlife.

CMHRTF Invasive Plant Control Projects

CMHRTF works throughout Cape May on both public and private land. As CMHRTF identifies and pursues new invasive plant control projects in Cape May, it is our goal to improve and enhance suitable wildlife habitat. Best management practices are implemented for each project, with careful monitoring of plant communities and plant diversity conducted pre and post control treatments. Restoring native plants, wildlife habitat, and enhancing biodiversity in Cape May is the driver behind our invasive control projects.

Since CMHRTF began in October 2010, we have developed strong working relationships with our partners and continue to build new partnerships. In early 2011, CMHRTF began a 5.5 acre reforestation restoration project at Cape May Point State Park, where the coastal maritime forest has been overtaken by a number of invasive vines. The site has been carefully cleared of vines while leaving the mature trees to provide a seed source for understory regeneration once invasive plant control treatments have been applied for 2 to 3 years. CMHRTF has also identified kudzu--an emerging threat in New Jersey--on several privately owned properties in Cape May, and is currently working with the landowners to eradicate this invasive vine. These projects are made possible through support from the William Penn Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Atlantic City Electric.

How You Can Help!

  • Volunteer for CMHRTF! You can help manage, survey, and monitor invasive species
  • If you are a homeowner or a land manager,
    • learn how to identify invasive plants that may be on your property
    • find out how to control or remove invasive plants in your yard
    • landscape with native plants
  • Learn more by attending an upcoming workshop or volunteer events

Target Non-native Invasive Plants

Many non-native invasive plants are found throughout Cape May, including Phragmites (common reed), purple loosestrife, multiflora rose, and autumn olive. Below is a list of just a few of the invasive plants the CMHRTF is targeting for control.

Species in red are considered emerging invasive plants in Cape May. CMHRTF is employing an Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) strategy to reduce the establishment and spread of kudzu and mile-a-minute.

KudzuField bindweed
Mile-a-minuteSpotted knapweed
Porcelain berryWeeping lovegrass
Privet speciesJapanese wisteria
Garlic mustardJapanese stiltgrass
English ivyAutumn olive
Butterfly bushRussian olive
Japanese honeysuckleMultiflora rose
Oriental bittersweetTree of heaven
Chinese silvergrassPurple loosestrife
Sweet autumn clematisSilktree (Mimosa)
Common mugwortCallery pear


For more information about CMHRTF, please contact

Kristen Meistrell or like us on Facebook!


Upcoming Events


Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Duke Farms, Hilsborough, NJ

New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team's Annual Conference

For more information, please visit their website