Tonawanda Creek/Erie Canal Hydrilla Control Demonstration Project, Year 2
The Tonawanda Creek/Erie Canal Hydrilla Control Demonstration Project is a multi-agency and Partner effort being led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) was discovered in the Erie Canal by USFWS in September 2012 and this project was quickly created in order to develop selective control methods to manage hydrilla in a flowing water system, while minimizing impacts on native vegetation. The goals for this project are to reduce the total biomass of hydrilla within this section by >95% and to reduce hydrilla tubers by >85%.
Hydrilla is one of the world’s most highly invasive aquatic plants and it can quickly form dense mats that block sunlight, displace native vegetation, decrease dissolved oxygen levels (potentially leading to fish kills), restricts recreational movement, and destroys waterfowl feeding sites. An initial treatment took place last summer and a synopsis of this treatment can be found here: A Synopsis of the 2014 Hydrilla Treatments on the Erie Canal.
In 2015, USACE is continuing to focus their demonstration project treatment efforts on the 15-mile section of the Erie Canal, from the Niagara River east to Lockport. This treatment took place last Tuesday and Wednesday (July 28 & 29) without any issues and monitoring will continue during the week of August 12 -14.
WIVB Channel 4 did a feature on the project and treatment, which can be seen here: Hydrilla Plant Inches Closer to the Great Lakes.
More information on this project can be found here: http://erie.cce.cornell.edu/invasive-species/wny-hydrilla-project