NY Invasive Species Specialist Chuck O’Neill, P: 585-831-6165, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York Sea Grant Recreation & Tourism Specialist Dave White, P: 315-312-3042, E: email@example.com
Ithaca, NY, April 17, 2012 - Marina operators, boaters and anglers are the front line for preventing the spread of Hydrilla verticillata
, a nasty aquatic invasive plant, and now is the time to act says Cornell University Cooperative Extension invasive species specialist Charles “Chuck” O’Neill.
“Now - before launching boats for the 2012 boating season - is the time for taking measures to prevent Hydrilla
from reaching other waters. This is a priority in New York where the popularity of boating creates the opportunity for spread,” O’Neill says.
New York Sea Grant and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program have written “Hydrilla
: What Marinas Need to Know” and “Not Wanted! Hydrilla
” fact sheets to help people recognize the invasive plant and closely inspect watercraft to prevent its spread.
To prevent Hydrilla
’s spread over land and by water, O’Neill says the timing is critical for marina operators, boaters and anglers, especially those who travel from waterbody to waterbody to participate in tournaments, to practice aquatic invasive control measures.
Measures include the use of drain filters when washing boats to opening airlocks and air bladders to prevent Hydrilla
fragments from surviving in a kayak’s damp nooks and crannies. Sharp-eyed observation and proper disposal of debris that clings to watercraft are also good methods for slowing the spread of unwanted species.
New York Sea Grant is using the information sheets with its 2012 Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign and with a cadre of new aquatic invasive species education and watercraft stewards attending waterfront and boating events throughout New York to teach tips on how to properly inspect one’s boat before transporting.
New York Sea Grant is a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness about the State's marine and Great Lakes resources. One of 32 university-based programs under the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, NYSG is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University.
More information on Hydrilla ...
A half-inch fragment is all it takes for Hydrilla to establish itself.
Current control measures for Hydrilla include costly chemical treatments that keep the invader at bay, and periodic mechanical harvesting and handpulling.
While unlikely, fragments of Hydrilla can overwinter on boats, including those that have been washed and shrink-wrapped. Marina operators and boaters can inspect watercraft and practice pre-launch cleaning of boats, making sure wash water does not flow into any surface water. Storm drain screens and earthen or straw berms around washing areas can contain runoff.
Hydrilla, also called water thyme, creates thick mats of surface vegetation, displacing native species; causing fish kills; reducing the weight and size of sportfish; obstructing boating, swimming, and fishing recreation; and reducing the value of shoreline property.
Hydrilla was discovered in Cayuga Inlet near Ithaca, NY, in August 2011. It exists the width and length of the Inlet. If Hydrilla reaches and escapes Cayuga Lake, it could travel by water to the Seneca-Cayuga Canal, Erie Canal, other Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, and beyond.