On YouTube: Sea Grant Has New Info On Invasive Species
Aquatic Invasive Species - News

Watertown, NY, April 19, 2012 - New York Sea Grant has a new brochure and fact sheet on Asian carp and other invasive species and what to do if we spot them.

As seen in this clip from Watertown, NY-based WWNY TV 7,Dave White, New York Sea Grant's Great Lakes program coordinator and recreation/tourism specialist, discusses how important it is to be aware of the problems invasive species can cause.

"As anglers, boaters and others are getting ready to go out [this season], there are some new things to be thinking about," he says, citing that NYSG is offering several new fact sheets - on the invasive Asian carp (click here) and Hydrilla (click here), the latter a plant that can grow over a lake like a grassy mat, harming the ecosystem. It continues to be an issue in the south end of Ithaca's Cayuga Lake.

"Hydrilla is a very invasive plant," says White. "All you need is a small piece of it on your boat or trailer and it can travel from one place to another. It can outgrow our native plant species. And there is a real concern of it now getting throughout the Finger Lakes and into the Great Lakes."

If someone spots Hydrilla, White says the best thing for them to do is to report it to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. To help educate people about the presence and invasive nature of Hydrilla, New York Sea Grant has a new fact sheet and brochure. "Hydrilla is probably coming to a body of water near you, but if we know that it is in an area, we can then begin to take action to control it, determine where it is and prevent it from spreading throughout a body of water." White says removal of Hydrilla can be done through chemical treatment, as it has in Ithaca, or manually via a weed pull.

Asian carp is one of the most recent and highly-discussed invasive species - while it has yet to make it's way into New York's lakes and rivers, there is growing concern. "It's currently not in the Great Lakes. It's in the Mississippi drainage basin," says White. "But what a lot of people may not realize is that the two drainage basins are connected in Chicago through the city's sanitary canal.

Producing the fact sheet is one way that White says Sea Grant is remaining "proactive," to ensure that the Asian carp does not make it's way into Lake Ontario and the other Great Lakes. Like with the new publications on Hydrilla, White says the goal is to "raise awareness, help prevent the path and spread of these invaders and hopefully control them so that they have a minimal impact on our environment and the activities we have."
For more information, call the Sea Grant office at 315-312-3042 or visit www.nyseagrant.org.

Since April 2006, White has been bringing Sea Grant's "message" to the morning masses at WWNY TV 7, a Fox affiliate in downtown Watertown, during one of the highest rated TV blocks in the "wake-up hours," the 6:30-7 am stretch.

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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