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News stories tagged with "invasive-species"

Champlain Canal, First Lock. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ifl/">Peretz Partensky</a> cc <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Champlain Canal, First Lock. Photo: Peretz Partensky cc some rights reserved

Vermont Senator pressures NYS to close Champlain Canal

New York State is under increasing pressure to close the Champlain Canal to keep a new invasive species out of Lake Champlain. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy yesterday blasted New York for "ignoring" the threat of the spiny water flea. The water flea was discovered earlier this month in the Feeder Canal near Glens Falls, and the Champlain Canal, both operated by New York.

The Champlain Canal is 60 miles long. It was built at the same time the Erie Canal was constructed to connect the Hudson River to Lake Champlain. It stretches through Rensselaer, Saratoga and Washington counties, from Waterford past Ft. Edward to Whitehall.

Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann has covered both Lake Champlain and invasive species and joined Martha Foley for an update this morning.  Go to full article
White nose syndrome in a New York cave (Photo:  Al Hicks, NYS DEC)
White nose syndrome in a New York cave (Photo: Al Hicks, NYS DEC)

White nose syndrome ravages bat populations as it spreads west

White Nose Syndrome is a deadly bat disease that continues to spread rapidly across the U.S. It was first identified in a cave near Albany in 2006. In the six years since, it's wiped out 90% of the population of bats in many caves across northern New York and Vermont. Researchers have made headway identifying the fungal disease, but they've found no way to stop it from infecting new sites as far away as western Ontario and Missouri.

Brian Mann checked in with Mollie Mattieson, with the Center for Biological Diversity in Vermont, which has been one of the leading environmental groups working on white nose syndrome. She is just back from a national conference on the disease and says much of the news is still bleak.  Go to full article
Hydrilla. Photo: Purdue Extension
Hydrilla. Photo: Purdue Extension

NY boaters asked to help prevent spread of invasive water plant

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. Sarah Harris has more.  Go to full article
Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer

Scientists hope to buy time for threatened ash trees

It's estimated there are about 8 billion ash trees in North America, and every one of them could be killed by a tiny invasive insect called the emerald ash borer. It was first found in Detroit 9 years ago, probably after arriving on a cargo ship from Asia. Since then the ash borer has devastated forests in the upper Midwest and has broken out into surrounding states. David Chanatry with the New York Reporting Project at Utica College reports.  Go to full article

DEC scientists fight threat to ash trees

Non-native plants and animals will readily invade a local ecosystem if they get the chance--think kudzu or zebra mussels. Now scientists with the state Department of Environmental Conservation are tracking a new threat to New York, the Emerald Ash Borer.

The invasive insects have been moving east from the Midwest for years, devastating hardwood forests along the way. This summer, they were spotted at West Point, on the Hudson River. State scientists have been trying to slow their spread, banning transport of firewood and quarantining areas where the beetles have been found.

Gino Geruntino is with the New York Reporting Project at Utica College. He found a telltale sign of the DEC at work on a walk through the woods at Hunt's Pond in New Berlin: big purple boxes hanging from the trees.  Go to full article
Will NY's tough ballast water rules shut down commerce? Photo: USGS
Will NY's tough ballast water rules shut down commerce? Photo: USGS

New York's tough ballast water rules attacked in Congress

New York state is facing new pressure to scrap tough ballast water regulations that are set to go into effect next year. The rules are designed to stop invasive species from reaching the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

But as Brian Mann reports, Republicans in Congress say New York should be stripped of hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal EPA funding if the regulations aren't scrapped.  Go to full article
Ship discharging ballast water. Photo: providence.edu
Ship discharging ballast water. Photo: providence.edu

NY ballast water regs spark international backlash

New York state is pushing forward with plans to implement tough new rules designed to keep ships on the St. Lawrence Seaway from bringing in invasive plants and animals. The regulations are set to go into effect in 2013.

Researchers say the Seaway has opened the door to dozens of foreign organisms that are wreaking havoc on native ecosystems.

But opponents of the rules, led by the Canadian government, say they're too strict and would stifle trade and commerce in the region. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Dr. Gary Kleppel is a biologist who studies how domesticated animals can be used to improve damaged ecosystems.  <i>Marie Cusick / WMHT</i>
Dr. Gary Kleppel is a biologist who studies how domesticated animals can be used to improve damaged ecosystems. Marie Cusick / WMHT

A shepherd's flock tackles nature's toughest plants

Sheep - and cows and other livestock - can munch through a field in no time. In the process, they can upend the natural distribution of plants in the area.

With the right shepherd, though, it turns out that sheep can bring balance to an ecosystem by eating invasive plants, and do the job of a lawnmower, or an herbicide, without the pollution.

WMHT's Marie Cusick reports for the Innovation Trail.  Go to full article
Asian Bittersweet. Source: Wikipedia Commons
Asian Bittersweet. Source: Wikipedia Commons

Getting a start on the weeds

Milder weather brings lots of green to the yard and garden, but not all of it's welcome. Just as perennial flowers are putting out their first growth, so are the perennial weeds. Martha Foley talks with Amy Ivy about common weeds, and why now is the time to tackle them. Plus advice on getting rid of tough invasives like bittersweet and grapevines.  Go to full article
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson (left) poses with other industry leaders as the first freighter of the season enters the St. Lambert lock.
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson (left) poses with other industry leaders as the first freighter of the season enters the St. Lambert lock.

Seaway burnishes "green" profile

Last week, the first freighter of the year rumbled up the St. Lawrence River. That marked the 53rd season of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a man-made channel linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

The Seaway's billion dollars of commerce is mostly an economic conversation between Canada's southern coast, America's Midwest, and the far-flung ports of the world.

But it's caused vast environmental damage in the North Country and across the Great Lakes, largely via invasive species.

David Sommerstein went to the Seaway's opening ceremony last week in Montreal. He sends this report on the Seaway's delicate balance between the economy and the environment.  Go to full article

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