FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 11, 2009
New IISG WATCH Card Features Two Invasive Plants
URBANA - Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) recently released a new WATCH card featuring two new invasive species—the Brazilian elodea and hydrilla. These costly noxious weeds have been invading and causing harm in parts of the U.S.
“They have the potential to crowd out native species, alter habitat, and hinder recreational activities such as boating and fishing,” said IISG aquatic invasives extension associate Kristin TePas.
Costs have quickly added up in Indiana in efforts to control these invaders. According to TePas, in 2006 an infestation of hydrilla was found in a 735-acre lake that is expected to cost the state $1.5 million to remove. This followed a previous infestation
of Brazilian elodea in a 109-acre impoundment, which cost the state $135,000 to eradicate.
Both hydrilla, native to Asia, and Brazilian elodea found their way into U.S. waters through aquarium trade. Recently these plants have been spread to new waters via boats and recreational equipment and as a hitchhiker on other plant materials.
Boaters and anglers can help by regularly cleaning their boat equipment when they leave a water body and by reporting any sightings. Hobbyists can help by purchasing plants other than Brazilian elodea and disposing of unwanted aquarium and water garden
plants in the trash rather than nearby water bodies.
The new WATCH card provides a brief description of the plants as well as illustrations and a photograph of the two species. It also includes a clear description of how to tell them apart from native elodeas, as they are similar in appearance. The card
also provides useful information to help prevent the spread of these invaders and what to do to report a new sighting.
For more information or to purchase the Brazilian elodea and hydrilla WATCH cards, which are $5.00 for a package of 50, visit www.iiseagrant.org/catalog/ais/elwach.htm
or contact marketing specialist Susan White at 217-333-9441.
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of 30 National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs. Funding is
provided by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
1101 W. Peabody Dr.
Urbana, Il 61801
FAX (217) 333-8046