A partnership dedicated to battling invasive species in the North helped contain hog weed and limit the spread of Water Chestnut plants in St. Lawrence County waterways in 2012.
The Partners of the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management is one of eight partnerships across New York State, encompassing St. Lawrence and surrounding counties.
The group works to “protect the ecological integrity of the eastern Lake Ontario Basin and Northern New York’s natural and cultural resources from the threat of invasive species.
This work also serves to protect rare and endangered species of flora and fauna found within the five county PRISM region.
Some accomplishments include:
• Significantly reducing the human health threats posed by giant hogweed by removing plants from 136 sites.
• Assisting in the restoration of over 230 acres of freshwater resources by controlling invasive Water Chestnut plants. Partners also helped to restore 50.02 acres of globally rare Alvar habitat in the eastern Lake Ontario coastline.
• Restoration of 19.52 acres of rare “Fen” habitat. Restoration of 3.6 acres of freshwater dune barrier systems within the Eastern Lake Ontario Coastline. Restoration of 0.39 acres of wetland habitats and 5.8 acres of important habitats found in wildlife management areas.
Other accomplishments include the establishment of an invasive species prevention zone on the core forest at Tug Hill, prevention activities designed to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species, numerous education and outreach initiatives and several citizen science events.
According to Program Coordinator Rob Williams, “it is the energy and collaborative nature of our partnership along with support from New York State and the Central and Western Chapter of The Nature Conservancy that makes this work possible – our partners are motivated and engaged and they are the ones that truly make the difference”.
For more information about invasive species or the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, visit www.sleloinvasives.org