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NY Boaters Asked to Help Prevent Spread of Invasive Water Plant
Aquatic Invasive Species - News
Canton, New York, April 18, 2012 - As heard on North Country Public Radio, Hydrilla is one of the most aggressive, invasive water plants. Its long, trailing stems form thick mats that prevent native water vegetation and fish from getting enough oxygen, light and nutrients.

Hydrilla was found at Cayuga Inlet, near Ithaca, last August. If unchecked it could spread Cayuga Lake, other Finger Lakes, as well as Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Cornell Cooperative Extension is warning recreational boaters to take precautions and prevent the spread of the invasive plant.

Hydrilla is primarily spread by boats. The plant attaches to the bottom of watercraft and goes unnoticed by boat owners who travel to other bodies of water and unwittingly take the invasive species with them. But boaters can help stem the spread of Hydrilla, too. Cornell Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Specialist Charles O'Neill says now is the time for marinas and boaters to take precautions against the spread of Hydrilla. He suggests thoroughly inspecting and cleaning boats before launching them. Any attached plant matter should be disposed of on dry land.

For more on this story, listen to the related North Country Public Radio clip filed by reporter Sarah Harris (click here).

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. For more on this, see NYSG's related news item (click here).

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources, has been “Bringing Science to the Shore” for more than 40 years. NYSG, one of 32 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University. The National Sea Grant College Program engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources.

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