NYSG’s Invasive Species Site in the Spotlight
Aquatic Invasive Species - Press Advisory

NYSG’s Invasive Species Site in the Spotlight
As the Invasive Emerald Ash Borer is Found in NYS

Brockport, NY, June 23, 2009 - With the recent discovery of the forest insect pest, the emerald ash borer (EAB), in New York, New York Sea Grant’s (NYSG) “New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse” Web site, http://nyis.info, has become the go to portal to all New York State (NYS) emerald ash borer resources.

NYIS.INFO links scientific research, State and Federal management programs and policy information, outreach education and grassroots invasive species action to help visitors become part of the effort against invasive species in and around New York.

“This site is gateway to science-based information, breaking news, and new and innovative tools to prevent, detect, control and manage biological invaders in New York,” says Chuck O’Neill, NYSG’s  Invasive Species Specialist.

“On that front,” he continued, “we’re now the hub for public outreach regarding the Emerald Ash Borer in New York State,” an invasive beetle now found in New York State. The EAB is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species, including green, white, black and blue ash.

Last week, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis announced the discovery of an EAB in Randolph, Cattaraugus County, the first time it has been detected in New York.

New York has more than 900 million ash trees, representing about seven percent of all trees in the state, and all are at risk should this invasive, exotic pest become established. This is just the latest in a series of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species detections across New York State, including the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Sirex woodwasp, didymo, zebra mussels, and Eurasian water milfoil. This has prompted the state to strengthen regulations, increase educational outreach, and encourage ways of limiting the unintentional spread of these potentially devastating pests throughout the state.

"While this is the first reported finding of the Emerald Ash Borer in New York State,” Commissioner Hooker said, “it is not surprising. This beetle has been detected on either side of Lake Ontario for several years now and there is little that can be done to stop the natural spread of this devastating pest.”

Commissioner Grannis added, "This is yet another wake-up call for all New Yorkers that invasive species pose a grave threat to the health of our natural resources and ecosystems, and ultimately, our economy. Tough but practical measures, such as quarantines, firewood regulations, public education and other regulatory actions will continue to be needed if we are to limit the damage from EAB and other invasives."

For more on invasive species in New York State, log on to http://nyis.info. New posts include information on the Emerald Ash Borer, what is being done to curtail its invasion and what you can do to help.

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