Berrien County Conservation District

Preserving and Protecting our Natural Resources


SW x SW Corner CISMA (Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area)

A Michigan Invasive Species Grant has been awarded for the SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA). This project covers Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties and the primary focus of the project will be mapping & surveying invasive species populations, education, and developing a strategic plan.

What does Invasive mean?

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan's economy, environment, or human health.

What is a CISMA?

CISMA is a partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies, tribes, individuals, and various interested groups that manage (or have a stake in managing) invasive species in a defined area.

Our CISMA Partners 

Target Species 

Black  and Pale Swallowwort 

Report Sightings 

If you see any invasive species please report your sightings to MISIN or download the free MISIN app to your phone. This site provides detailed information on invasive species and offers valuable training modules to aid identification.  When reporting please indicate that you are apart of the South West X South West Corner CISMA.

This project was funded in part with funds from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program through the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development


Download Free App Here

Previous Invasive Species Events

Invasive Species Identification Workshop with Chikaming Open Lands

Chikaming Open Lands will be hosting an Invasive Species Identification Workshop on Thursday September 28th at 6:00 PM. This is an opportunity to learn how anyone can assist professionals and land managers by reporting invasive species populations in Southwest Michigan. Invasive Species are known to degrade natural ecosystems by outcompeting native vegetation as well as providing poor habitat and food sources for native fauna. This workshop will focus on the identification of both native and invasive species, and the importance that native species have in the function of healthy ecosystems. There will be discussion of invasive species that are currently impacting the region as well as new invaders that have not yet established in the area.With increased awareness there is a greater chance that new invasive species can be recognized and addressed promptly to prevent their establishment. At the conclusion of the workshop there will be an opportunity for a short walk outside to see invasive species in a natural setting. If you have any questions please contact Jared Harmon at (269) 471-9111 Ext. 3.

Location: Chikaming Open Lands Office 12291 Red Arrow Hwy Sawyer, MI 49125

New Buffalo Japanese Knotweed Symposium

The Southwest X Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) will be hosting a symposium discussing Japanese Knotweed which is a highly aggressive and difficult to manage invasive species that is threatening Southwest Michigan. The event will be taking place at the New Buffalo Township Library located at 33 N. Thompson Street on August 29th from 1:00 to 4:30 pm. This is a free event that is open to the public and is directed toward property owners, municipal staff, land managers, and concerned citizens.

Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive perennial plant that can spread rapidly when improperly managed. This species can quickly shade out desirable native plants and can threaten homes and public infrastructure by breaking pipes, asphalt, and building foundations. Japanese knotweed is capable of spreading from very small plant fragments and will take years of careful management to eradicate.

This symposium will include information on the identification, impact, and management techniques for Japanese Knotweed removal. There will also be information about what steps have been taken by local municipalities to control Japanese Knotweed in their communities. There will be an opportunity for public comment and the chance to answer any questions regarding the necessary steps to control and eradicate Japanese Knotweed in our communities.

**** 3 RUP Credits Available ****

Monday August 21st 5:30-6:30 pm Sodus Township Library Presentation 

3776 Naomi Rd, Sodus, MI 49126

There will be a presentation of the top 10 most concerning invasive species that impact or have the potential to cause problems in Southwest Michigan in the future. This is an opportunity to learn Identification as well as how to control invasive species and the importance of invasive species management. There will be live samples of these species at the presentation to aid identification and free materials for participants to take home to assist in invasive species identification and management. At the conclusion of the presentation there will be an opportunity to see a stand of invasive Japanese Knotweed that is growing in town.

Monday August 7th from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Invasive Species Workshop Watervliet District Library

333 N. Main Street Watervliet, MI 49098

The SW X SW Corner CISMA will be hosting an invasive species presentation at the Watervliet District Library on August 7th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about the impact that invasive species have on the environment, economy, and human health in Southwest Michigan. You will learn how to identify, control, and report invasive species that are both present or have the potential to invade the region in the near future. There will be time for questions at the conclusion of the presentation and free information to take home with you. 

Friday July 14th from 10 am to 3 pm 

Benton Harbor Invasive Species Mobile Boat Wash 

700-, 1098 Riverview Dr, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Join the SW X SW CISMA and the MSU Mobile Boat Wash Crew at the Benton Harbor Public Launch to learn how to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species and to get your canoe, kayak, or personal watercraft washed for free. 

Friday, July 7th from 10 a.m to 3pm 

4th Annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Boat Wash 

Paw Paw Lake East Boat Launch 5778-, 5874 N Watervliet Rd, Watervliet, MI 49098

The Southwest X Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) will be educating boaters about preventing the spread of harmful invasive species during Michigan’s 4th Annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz July 1 through July 9, 2017. In collaboration with Michigan State’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters crew, free boat washes will be offered to those coming on or off the lake to prevent the spread of harmful invasive species, such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil. The event will include giveaways, boat washing, and one-on-one outreach. Stop by to learn about the species to keep an eye out for, and keep our lakes healthy! 

Tuesday, June 27th from 6:00 p.m to 7:30 p.m

New Buffalo Invasive Species Presentation MISIN Training 

SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Area (CISMA)

Join us June 27th to learn how you can help the State of Michigan track invasive species populations. There will be a presentation on invasive species and the MISIN program (Midwest Invasive Species Information Network). This program is instrumental in understanding the locations and movement of invasive species that impact our environment, economy, and wildlife. 

New Buffalo Township Library (Pokagon Room)

33 North Thompson Street, New Buffalo, Michigan 49117

Monday, June 19th from 6:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m

Invasive Species Presentation 

SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Area (CISMA)

Join us June 19th to learn about Invasive Species threatening Southwest Michigan. Topics covered will include mapping, identification, impact, and treatment of invasive species. There will be time for questions after the presentation and an opportunity to see a local Japanese Knotweed stand. 

Benton Harbor Public Library

213 E. Wall Street. Benton Harbor, MI 49022 

Friday, April 28th from 10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m

New Buffalo Japanese Knotweed Workshop 

SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Area (CISMA)

Join us April 28th to learn the impact of Japanese Knotweed in the New Buffalo Community and throughout Southwest Michigan. Topics discussed will include identification, mapping, and issues associated with this aggressive invasive plant. There will also be an opportunity for questions and input for what can be done to resolve this growing problem. Following the discussion we will head outside to identify Japanese Knotweed in town.

New Buffalo Township Library (Pokagon Room)

33 North Thompson Street, New Buffalo, Michigan 49117

Second Japanese Knotweed Symposium will be held on March 21st at the St. Joe Heritage Museum and Cultural Center at 601 Main St. This event will run from 9am-3pm with an optional field trip to identify Japanese Knotweed after the event. 

    Two Rivers Coalition is excited to have Erin Fuller, SW X SW CISMA Coordinator as their Fall speaker on an important topic: early detection of harmful, invasive species. Erin will explain the CISMA program and the new plant and insect invasive species that are most worrisome. Perhaps most importantly, Erin will walk through learning to identify these species, and then show  how to report them on a regional database using a smart phone.   This event will take place Wednesday, Oct.19 at the Van Buren Conference Center in Lawrence, MI. It starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. and should be done by 8:00 or shortly afterwards. Hope to see you there.

To learn more about the organization "Two Rivers Coalition" visit their website