The Coastal Georgia Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CoGA CISMA) is an alliance that was established in March 2012 to work across Federal, State, Local, and private lands for invasive species management in Camden, Glynn, McIntosh, Liberty, Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Long, Wayne, Brantley & Charlton counties. The CoGA CISMA is the first geographically based CISMA formed in Georgia. The Cogongrass CWMA was formed in 2005 to address the threat of a single species -- cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica). We hope that the CoGA CISMA will be a catalyst for the formation of other statewide and regional partnerships to help the State of Georgia prevent and control invasive species.
The CoGa CISMA covers approximately 3,900,000 acres and includes a variety of upland habitats, wetland habitats, historic sites, scenic sites and recreational areas with over 100 miles of coastline, about 350,000 acres of salt & brackish marsh, and a series of 8 barrier island clusters. There are several rivers that are important in the CISMA for their recreational, scenic, historical, and ecological values. These include the Satilla and Little Satilla rivers in Camden County, the Altamaha River which runs between Glynn, McIntosh, Wayne, and Long counties, the Canoochee River which runs between Liberty and Bryan counties, the Ogeechee River which runs between Bryan and Chatham counties, and the Savannah River which defines the Georgia/South Carolina border near Savannah. Approximately 841,600 acres, or 22% of the land, is considered to be conservation land and represents most of the area managed by our partner agencies. By focusing on the ecologically significant coastal landscape, CoGA CISMA should be able to manage effective early detection and rapid response efforts.
We would like to thank the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation - Pulling Together Initiative for awarding the CoGA CISMA with two $50,000 grants in 2013 and 2015. The 2013 funding helped kickstart our CISMA through assisting with salary for one co-coordinator and two Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns; purchasing pesticides and supplies; printing brochures; and establishing this website. The 2015 grant helped us continue our SCA internship program, maintain our website, and establish a private landowner cost-share program. The Nature Conservancy and the GA DNR Nongame Conservation Section provided matching funds for this grant.
We would also like to thank TERN (The Environmental Resources Network) for providing three grants in 2013, 2014, and 2016 that funded the purchase of a box trailer, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, GPS units, safety equipment and other supplies, as well as longleaf pine seedlings for a restoration site.