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News stories tagged with "invasive-species"

Seaway picking up ground on invasive species

For decades now, invasive species have been one of the biggest threats to the health and economy of the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes regions. More than 180 invaders have snuck into the watershed, most hidden in the ballast tanks of foreign Seaway ships. Things like zebra and quagga mussels, the round goby, and the sea lamprey crowd out native species, disturb the ecosystem, and have cost the region billions of dollars. But scientists and shippers are cautiously optimistic they're on the right track to keeping new invaders out of the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Asian carp threatens Great Lakes

Earlier this month, DNA of the Asian carp was discovered downstream of a multi-million dollar electric barrier designed to repel the giant fish from the Great Lakes. The barrier was built in a canal in Chicago that connects the Mississippi River with Lake Michigan. Asian carp have been swimming up the Mississippi for years. The DNA discovery set in motion a frantic response from state and federal agencies. The canal was poisoned with rotenone last Friday when the barrier had to be turned off for maintenance. Thousands of fish were killed, but only one asian carp was among them. The governor of Michigan has vowed legal action to have shipping locks closed to seal off the canal. Jennifer Nalbone is with the regional environmental group, Great Lakes United. She told David Sommerstein the Asian carp will crowd out native fish and devastate the recreational fishing industry, and damage the entire ecosystem.  Go to full article
U.S. Seaway Administrator, Terry Johnson, with a picture of the St. Lawrence River in the background.
U.S. Seaway Administrator, Terry Johnson, with a picture of the St. Lawrence River in the background.

Seaway Chief: No expansion, no winter navigation

The head of the St. Lawrence Seaway is doing a blitz through the North Country. U.S. Administrator Terry Johnson met with local media. And yesterday he visited the offices of Save The River in Clayton for the first time since being appointed three years ago. The environmental group has often been at odds with the agency that runs the shipping lanes that link the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. Johnson says he was disturbed by questions over Seaway expansion during the 23rd Congressional race. He says he wants to set the record straight: digging deeper channels in the St. Lawrence River is off the table. "It's a non-issue," Johnson says. "It's just not gonna happen." Yesterday, Johnson spoke with David Sommerstein at Seaway headquarters in Massena. Later this week, we'll hear their conversation about the economics of the Seaway and why traffic has dropped off over the years. Today, Johnson talks about invasive species, shipping during springtime icy conditions, and the history of mistrust many North Country residents have toward the Seaway.  Go to full article

Invasives a growing threat to Adirondacks

Adirondack Park Agency commissioners were given a status report yesterday on what's considered to be the biggest threat to the ecology of the Adirondacks. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Russell Martin, Newton Falls, and other DEC forest technicians have hung 2,500 EAB traps across the North Country.
Russell Martin, Newton Falls, and other DEC forest technicians have hung 2,500 EAB traps across the North Country.

Inside purple boxes, a trap for an invader

If you've driven almost anywhere in the North Country this summer, you've probably seen those purple boxes hanging by the side of the road. They're traps for an invasive bug that threatens to decimate New York's ash trees, about 8% of the state's forests. The emerald ash borer was found in New York two months ago, in the western New York town of Randolph. Federal and state environment officials destroyed that stand of ash trees. And they've hung more than 5,000 of the purple traps, half in the North Country, to see if they find any more emerald ash borers. So far, they haven't. Russell Martin is a forest technician for the Department of Environmental Conservation. He lives in Newton Falls and he's logged more than 12,000 miles in a Chevy Venture van setting and checking on the purple traps. David Sommerstein joined Martin on an expedition off Route 11 between Canton and Potsdam.  Go to full article

A new way to kill the emerald ash borer

Listen to the DEC's Russell Martin describe research about a kind of wasp that eats emerald ash borers, and may be used in the fight to save ash trees.  Go to full article
Carl Herzog checks his equipment before a night on the road (Source:  C. Herzog, NYSDEC)
Carl Herzog checks his equipment before a night on the road (Source: C. Herzog, NYSDEC)

Bat songs in the Adirondacks silenced by white nose syndrome

This summer, researchers across the Northeast are working to measure the impact of white nose syndrome, a deadly disease that has wiped out bat population in the region. Scientists say whole colonies have been obliterated. Brian Mann rode along on a survey in the Adirondacks and has our story.  Go to full article

How the invaders got here: "Pandora's Locks"

The Seaway's 50th anniversary has inspired a number of new books about the waterway. One blames the federal government, not the shipping industry, for the invasion of foreign species into the Great Lakes that has cost the region billions of dollars. The Environment Report's Lester Graham talks with author Jeff Alexander about his new book, Pandora's Locks.  Go to full article

Seaway at 50: Seaway chief looks forward

U.S. and Canadian dignitaries will officially open the St. Lawrence Seaway's 50th anniversary celebration this afternoon in Massena. The Obama Administration is sending department of transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Seaway administrator Terry Johnson will also be on hand to speak. Johnson took over the U.S. agency that runs the Seaway two and a half years ago. He spoke with David Sommerstein about the waterway's legacy and future.  Go to full article

Enviros set Seaway agenda for next 50 years

July will be a month of celebration and reflection as the St. Lawrence Seaway, and its locks, channels, and hydropower dam near Massena, turns 50. The waterway brought global trade to the St. Lawrence River, but also pollution, invasive species, and one catastrophic oil spill. More than 50 environmental groups across the region are releasing a seven-point agenda for a cleaner future for the Seaway. Jennifer Caddick directs one of those groups, Save the River, based in Clayton. She told David Sommerstein the 50th anniversary is bittersweet for residents of the Thousand Islands.  Go to full article

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