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Chestnut Pull: Volunteers Needed To Collect Invasive Aquatic Plants

Can you help pull water chestnut plants from Rockland Lake on July 17-19?

Water chestnut is an INVASIVE aquatic plant found in locally in Rockland County and globally in 43 countries. Water chestnut colonizes freshwater ponds and lakes and slow-moving streams and negatively impacts ecosystems and water recreation. Dense mats of this vegetation shade out native aquatic plants that provide food and shelter to native fish, waterfowl and insects. Decomposition of these dense mats reduces oxygen levels and may kill fish.
It was introduced in the U.S. in the mid-1800’s as an ornamental plant.  Its fruit are hard nuts with four inch barbs  are painful when stepped on. Seeds within these fruits can remain viable for unto 12 years.
New York State Parks is conducting a Chestnut Pull at Rockland Lake from July 17 to July 19. Volunteers (youth grades 7 and above) and adults are needed. It is an opportunity to work with scientists and the NY State Park Service. The scientists see this as a multi-year project involving the measurement of bio-mass removed and its effect on Rockland Lake. A biologist will be on hand on July 17th at 10am to train volunteers on invasive species and on proper mitigation techniques. We will all be meeting at Parking Lot #6.
For more information, contact Irene Holak
See also: Sustainable Saturday: Rockland Lake’s Hidden War, 10/15/2016

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