Lower Hudson PRISM Announces Awards to Target Invasive Species


Lower Hudson PRISM Announces Awards to Target Invasive Species

Dr. Linda Rohleder, program coordinator for the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (LH PRISM), has announced the awarding of contract funds to seven projects, totaling over $123,000, to organizations that will work to manage a number of invasive species in the Lower Hudson River Valley. “We’re very grateful to be able to make these awards,” said Dr. Rohleder, who leads LH PRISM in her role as Director of Land Stewardship for the New YorkNew Jersey Trail Conference.. “It’s critically important to build on the great work that local organizations have done controlling invasive species over the last few years. The Lower Hudson Valley is a gateway for movement of invasives both from global sources into the United States and between northern and southern states on the Eastern Seaboard, so it’s important that monitoring and eventual containment take place here.”

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County (CCEDC) will receive funds to conduct training of volunteers for the BlockBuster survey, which monitors both new introductions of terrestrial invasive species and the presence or absence of existing ones. CCEDC will coordinate with CCE offices in Orange, Rockland, Ulster, Putnam and Westchester to offer training in those counties. After dividing the Lower Hudson area into 3-by-3-mile blocks, extension educators train Master Gardeners and other volunteers to identify and record the locations of targeted species in their assigned blocks. This data provides scientists with a baseline and helps them understand how invasives are spreading and how we can better prevent their entry into new areas.

The Ecological Research Institute, Kingston, N.Y., will also receive funding to continue work on the BlockBuster invasive plant survey design, including an analysis of data gathered in 2016 on 146 sites.

Additional award recipients include Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Beacon, N.Y., which will continue its Aquatic Invasive Species Program for the third consecutive year. With the help of the LH PRISM funds, Clearwater will expand the Watercraft Inspection Steward Program in order to reach as many Hudson Valley residents as possible. This includes boaters and anglers at yacht clubs, marinas and lake associations along the Hudson.

The New York Botanical Garden, in The Bronx, will receive funds to host the 2017 Lower Hudson Invasive Species Summit, which will spotlight long-term invasive species management work in the Lower Hudson region. Featuring case studies of long-term invasive species management and ecological restoration projects in the region, the Summit will be modeled on a successful 2015 summit that drew a broad audience of over 400 participants.

With its funding, Scenic Hudson will coordinate a partnership among five property owners in Esopus, N.Y., to suppress mile-a-minute weed (Persicaria perfoliata) at the leading edge of its range. Their efforts will include hand-pulling and weed-whacking along Hell Brook and within Shaupeneak Ridge Preserve. Also planned is the release of a bio-control, the mile-a-minute weevil (Rhinoncomimus latipes), which has proved to be an effective deterrent to this fast-growing vine. Treated areas will be quickly reseeded with native grasses and forbs. Some of the work will be contracted to Trillium Invasive Species Management, Inc.

Trillium Invasive Species Management, Inc., will also receive funding to continue, for a second year, the mission to control hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta) in the Town of Bedford. Trillium ISM will coordinate with the Town and partners Bedford Audubon Society, Bedford 2020, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester to control infestations and inspect areas previously cleared while patrolling for possible new outbreaks and reaching out to educate local landowners.

A final award will enable Trillium Invasive Species Management, Inc., to continue an ongoing control effort aimed at stopping an extensive infestation of Jupiter’s distaff or sticky sage (Salvia glutinosa), a relatively new invasive species first discovered along the Appalachian Trail in the Town of Dover. Management of the outbreak began in 2013 and it is hoped that a rapid response will curtail the spread of this new threat to our ecosystem.

The Lower Hudson PRISM (our local Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) is a group of more than 45 organizations and concerned individuals who work together under the auspices of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to prevent or minimize the harm caused by invasive species. The eight PRISMs in New York State coordinate invasive species management, recruit and train citizen volunteers, provide education and outreach, establish early detection monitoring networks, and implement direct eradication and control efforts. The Lower Hudson PRISM and its projects are funded through the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by the New York State Department for Environmental Conservation. For more information, see lhprism.org.


Author: Harlem Valley News