Last October, several members of C-OFOKLA attended the 6th Annual Invasive Species Workshop at Alverna Heights. The event was co-sponsored by SUNY- ESF, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and C-OFOKLA.
Invasive species, particularly aquatic invasive species (AIS), are a serious threat to our waterways and have prompted the New York legislature into action. For example, new legislation prohibits boaters from launching without taking reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of AIS.
The conference featured presentations on hydrilla from Scott Kishbaugh of DEC, a brief history of AIS management at Otsego Lake by Bill Harman of CRISP, and efforts to create an informed citizenry by Helen Domske of NY Sea Grant.
The day concluded with a training session presented by Jennifer Dean from the New York Natural Heritage Program. This organization, part of DEC, has the mission “to facilitate conservation of New York’s biodiversity by providing comprehensive information and scientific expertise on rare species and natural ecosystems to resource managers and other conservation partners.” An important program is the iMapInvasives which allows anyone who goes through the training to record observations of suspected invasive species. These observations can be validated and then used to create management plans to control or eliminate the invaders.
It was a fact-filled day with some important learnings and insights that will help us better manage our member lakes.