Buffalo, New York--The Times Beach Aquatic Invasive Plant Control Project team will host a media event to highlight the team’s acceptance of an Engineering Excellence Award, followed by a Monarch butterfly and caterpillar release, Monday, August 7 at 2pm, at Times Beach located at 2 Fuhrmann Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14203.
Speakers for the event include:
• Rep. Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman (NY-26)
• LTC Adam Czekanski, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Commander
• Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive
• Kris Erickson Ecology and Environment
• Jay Burney, Friends of Times Beach
Agenda for the event will be:
• 2pm – Media Event
• 2:30pm – Butterfly and caterpillar release by Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm
As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the Aquatic Plant Control Demonstration project team planned, designed, and implementing a full-scale project to demonstrate means of removing and controlling aquatic invasive plants in concert with restoration of valuable native species. A particular area of focus is control of the non-native perennial grass Phragmites australis (common reed). General treatment options identified for implementation include: mechanical removal, chemical treatment, and habitat modification (restoration).
"The Times Beach project is a great example of how a strong partnership between public and private entities can deliver a successful project benefitting our vital Great Lakes ecosystem. With funding provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and coordination through the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, this demonstration project is an example of how to successfully remove invasive species and re-establish native species," said LTC Czekanski.
“This project came to fruition thanks to cooperative efforts by various entities from our community, all of whom believe in this outstanding strategic plan that helps beautify Times Beach for those who want to observe wildlife in a natural setting. I thank the members of my administration who played a role in the restoration efforts and applaud all of our community partners who share not only our commitment to conservation but our long-term vision for enhancing this wonderful shoreline nature preserve on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor,” said Poloncarz.
“The Times Beach Aquatic Invasive Species Control Project has been a story of collaboration, ecological community monitoring, adaptive implementation, more monitoring, and adaptive management. The changes observed over the past 5 years, including the decline in invasive species, the rebound of native vegetation communities, and the use of the site by wildlife, amphibians, and birds, has been nothing short of amazing. The project has reset the trajectory of natural succession in favor of native plant communities and wildlife habitat and enhances Times Beach as an Outer Harbor destination for wildlife observation,” said Erickson.
“The Friends of Times Beach are very pleased with the cooperative relationships that have been the hallmark of this very important restoration project. This award is significant, and Times Beach Nature Preserve is so much better off as a result of these relationships, this terrific restoration project, the leadership of the County Executive and his very engaged staff, and the initiatives of the USACE. Today we will be working to further our efforts of restoration with a release of Monarch Butterflies and caterpillars, courtesy of the Pollinator Conservation Association, the Eastern
Monarch Butterfly Farm and David Odonnell. In recent years our efforts to bring back the vanishing Monarch Butterfly to this critical shoreline nature preserve have been astounding and positive. This summer the Monarch butterfly population at Times Beach has reached strong levels. We remain committed to conservation and to helping to bring back the iconic Monarch Butterfly. Our partnerships make us stronger,” said Burney.