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GLIN==> Press release: July 26 meeting addresses invasive Water Chestnut on Eastern Lake Ontario



Title: Press release: July 26 meeting addresses invasive Water Chestnut on Eastern Lake Ontario
PRESS RELEASE: Use before July 26, 2007
Contact:  Mary Penney, New York Sea Grant, 315-312-3042
 
July 26 Meeting Addresses Migration of Invasive Water Chestnut on Eastern Lake Ontario Shoreline

The appearance of dried water chestnut fruits, or nutlets, along the Eastern shore of Lake Ontario will be the topic of discussion at the Thursday, July 26, 7:30 pm meeting of the Friends of Sandy Pond Beach at the Sandy Island State Park Community Room. Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Ben Robedee and Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager John DeHollander will present information on developing a monitoring program to track and control this invasive species.

DeHollander says, “The past three years, volunteers have been attempting to control water chestnut in the lower Salmon River near Port Ontario, and this is the first sign that it is migrating northward through Oswego County.”  

Robedee says there is good news and bad news. He says, “Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is difficult to eradicate and can cause a loss of wildlife habitat and native aquatic species on all levels of the food chain. The good news is there are effective ways to control water chestnut with the help of the public. The Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Program is pleased to have the opportunity to talk with local shoreline landowners at the Friends of Sandy Pond Beach meeting,” Robedee says.

Sally Sessler is Secretary of the Friends of Sandy Pond Beach and a member of the North Rainbow Shores Association and the Private Landowners Committee of The Ontario Dune Coalition. She says, “Members of the Friends are anxious to gain more information about water chestnuts in order to bring that information to other members of their organization and other landowners on the Eastern shore. We look forward to cooperating with the Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Program to help in whatever way we can. ”

Water chestnut is an aquatic plant native to Europe, Asia, and Africa that was unintentionally released from a botanical garden at Harvard University into the Charles River in the late 1800s. It grows in shallow water, 16 feet or less, in colonies that rapidly multiply with each plant producing 200-300 seeds in a year. By the late 1950s, water chestnut had reached the Great Lakes Basin.

For more information on the July 26, 7:30 pm program at the Friends of Sandy Pond Beach meeting at the Sandy Island Beach State Park Community Room, contact Eastern Lake Ontario Dune and Salmon River Steward Program Coordinator Mary Penney at 312-3042. Registration is not necessary, but is appreciated. The public is welcome to attend. # # #