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by Marcy Denker with JC Brotherhood
Gardeners, boaters, nature lovers and land managers have long known that the landscape around us is quietly and quickly transforming as species from other habitats find their way here and make a home. When these plants and animals rapidly increase and expand their territories, displacing indigenous species in the process, they’re known as invasive species.
Nyack took a stand on the issue several years ago and set a policy to use native or non-invasive plants on public property. As Memorial Park and the marina have been repaired and improved since then, invasive species like Chinese mulberry and Japanese knotweed have been removed and new plantings have brought native grasses, shrubs and trees to the waterfront. Now the marina is helping defend native aquatic wildlife with an Invasive Species Wash Box.
Earlier this month Nyack’s DPW installed the new box on the north side of the marina’s boat launch ramp built according to a design by environment engineers at DEC. The purpose is not as the name suggests to pamper invasive specifies with a bathing facility in Nyack but to help recreational boaters comply with new guidelines intended to help limit the spread of non native plant and animal life from one body of water to another.
The idea is weeds like milfoil, water chestnut or phragmites, and critters–mitten crabs and zebra oysters–who might otherwise hitch a ride to another environment somewhere else, even in another state remain instead where they emerge.
When you haul out you should empty the bilge and any live well on the ramp and then scrape off any hitchhikers and deposit them in the gravel in the box where they will remain and naturally decompose.
While the New York state DEC now only a suggests washboxes right now, legislation, starting on Long Island will soon require all boaters to comply with this easy and sensible bit of house keeping (boat keeping)? that helps limit the spread of “undesirable aliens” in our local waterways.
Marcy Denker Sustainability Coordinator for the Village of Nyack
JC Brotherhood is Pro Tem Chair of the Parks Commission’s Waterfront Committee
Earth Matters, a weekly feature that focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling and healthy living, is sponsored by Maria Luisa Boutique, and Summer Arts & Play Program at Blue Rock School. Read Earth Matters every Wednesday on Nyack News And Views, or sign up for the Earth Matters mailing list.