To control and eradicate the aggressive aquatic plant hydrilla, (Hydrilla verticillata) present in Tonawanda Creek/Erie Canal, New York the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District will conduct a treatment with the aquatic herbicide, endothall (Aquathol K) in the Erie Canal from the Delaware Bridge in the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, New York to West Canal Marina in the Town of Pendleton, New York, approximately 5-miles upstream during the week of July 27, 2015.
Hydrilla is a highly invasive aquatic plant species that was first introduced to the southern United States in the 1960s from Asia. More recently there have been a number of introductions to the glacial lakes of the Northeast and Midwest. Many of these sites are also being treated to eradicate hydrilla. Hydrilla infestations have potential to cause significant ecological and economic losses and the Erie Canal represents a major conduit for spread of hydrilla eastward to the Finger Lakes region and westward into the Great Lakes.
“Eliminating hydrilla from the Erie Canal is essential to preserving the ecological and environmental sustainability of the Great Lakes,” said Mike Greer, USACE project manager. “Funding is in place through the USACE Aquatic Plant Control Program and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Great Lake Restoration Initiative. With the help from the partners, and with money in place, I think this project will be a model to effectively eliminate hydrilla from the Erie Canal.”
The success of the project to this point can be attributed to the strong partnership between USACE, New York State Canal Corporation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA, city of North Tonawanda and others; and the work of the contractors Ecology & Environment Inc. and Aquatic Control Technology to address and manage the excessive growth of this invasive plant.
“The spread of invasive species such as hydrilla can result in significant ecological, recreational and economic impacts,” said DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder. “In recognition of New York’s Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) from July 12-18, we encourage all boaters to take action to protect local waters from hydrilla and other aquatic invasive species that move easily between waters on boats and trailers. By following proper boat cleaning and inspection practices, you can make a difference in preventing the spread of hydrilla and protecting our waterways.”
The following restrictions will be associated with the application of the herbicide in the Erie Canal: Swimming: After application, swimming is prohibited for one day within the treatment area. Outside the treatment area, there are no restrictions on swimming. Fishing: There are no restrictions on catching and eating fish.
In case of inclement weather, treatment will be conducted the week of August 3, 2015.
Any questions or further information about the treatment or the project can be obtained from Andrew Kornacki, USACE Buffalo District, (716) 879-4349, email@example.com. To learn more about the project and what you can do to help prevent hydrilla from spreading, please visit http://www.stophydrillawny.org, or stop by DEC’s informational booth during Canal Fest of the Tonawandas, July 19-26, 2015. For more pictures, please visit http://bit.ly/V2Usql.