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Sunday, September 25, 2011

HYDRILLA RESPONSE - A Summary at Year-End

Floating Classroom crewmembers Jordan Stark & Bill Foster discovered the invasive species, Hydrilla verticillata, in the Cayuga Inlet on August 4, 2011. The discovery led to the rapid development of a multi-agency task force, a temporary closure of the Inlet and an herbicide application during October- all intended to slow the establishment of this aggressive plant, and keep it from invading the lake. Work will continue this winter; the NYS Canal Corporation will lower lake levels slightly more than usual, in an effort to freeze-out exposed hydrilla root systems.

Thanks to the help of many volunteers and agencies, an extensive survey was initiated over the course of the fall to determine the extent of occurrance of hydrilla in and around the Cayuga Inlet. It remains unclear at this point whether hydrilla has established itself in the main body of the Lake, however a number of small specimens were found by Floating Classroom participants in the southwest corner of the lake (Hogs Hole).

Its going to take a community-wide effort to contain this plant, and to keep it from spreading from Ithaca to the entire Great Lakes basin. Regardless of what we find in the spring of 2012, we know that the removal or control of hydrilla is a challenge that will require a community-wide effort for some years to come. Here is what you can do to help:

  1. Take advantage of workshops and spring Floating Classroom cruises and learn to identify this plant! The more eyes "on" then better!

  2. Stay up-to-date on plans being prepared by the Task Force. Your input will be valuable! Click on the hydrilla image or go to for up-to-date info!

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