Japanese knotweeds (Reynoutria japonica, Reynoutria sachalinensis, and their hybrid Reynoutria X bohemica) are invasive plants that are infamously difficult to control and have negatively impacted ecosystems and economies in the US, Canada and Europe.
For several years, researchers have sought to find a biocontrol for knotweed. Biocontrols are species selected from an invasive species’ native range that are used to control the invasive species in its introduced range. This approach is more targeted than chemical methods, and when successful, it permanently suppresses the invasive species.
After extensive testing and review by federal agencies, in March of this year, an insect native to Japan called the knotweed psyllid (Aphalara itadori) was approved for release in the United States as the country’s first biocontrol agent for Japanese knotweed.
When Americans try to work something out but fail, we head to court.
But that option isn’t available for many long-suffering New Yorkers with water made undrinkable by road salt.
Road salt has been a known threat to the environment and human health for decades. Yet, the state of New York, which applies about as much per mile of roadway as any other state, depending on the year, has done little to prevent, clean up or truly quantify much of the problem.
That has stood out to me in several months of reporting on how road salt is fouling up water in and around the Adirondacks. The scale of the problem is so uncertain that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers may have salty water without even knowing it.
But when they do find out, they have a heck of a time trying to make things right.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) canceled an open house at Perch River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) out of an abundance of caution to protect public health due to the Department of Health’s (DOH) recent discovery of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in horses in the immediate vicinity.
EEE is carried by mosquitoes and transferable to animals and people. DOH plans to spray for mosquito control in that area of Jefferson County.
DEC’s Perch River WMA open house was scheduled to open Saturday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 30. (Click here for all the WMAs having open houses.) For additional information, bird lists, and maps, contact DEC’s Regional Wildlife Office at 315-785-2263 or visit the DEC webpage .
Perch River WMA in Jefferson County/DEC photo
If you’re in search of ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle, one effective way to reduce waste and conserve natural resources is through buying gently used items and supporting second hand shopping. Thrifting and second hand shopping has environmental, social, and economic benefits such as:
- Job creation that supports materials reuse and the circular economy
- Maintaining value of an item by keeping it in the supply chain instead of sending it to a landfill or incinerator where it has no value
- Reducing consumption of natural resources like water, fibers, metals, and fossil fuels by getting more use of items
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and Clarkson University will deploy new technologies to combat harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Neatahwanta in Oswego County this summer. In 2019, Governor Cuomo challenged these research institutions to use their scientific expertise in water quality to develop new and innovative technologies to reduce the impact of HABs. SUNY ESF and Clarkson University will study the effectiveness of their experimental inventions this summer. Learn more about this project at DEC’s Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Mitigation Studies webpage.
DEC will host a virtual public information session about the deployment of these experimental projects tonight, Wednesday, August 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. Register now for the information session.
photo courtesy of Upstate Freshwater Institute/Almanack archive
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the confirmation of an infestation of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) on Forest Preserve lands in the town of Dresden in Washington County.
The affected hemlock trees were located near a campsite within Glen Island Campground on the shore of Lake George. This is the second known infestation of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) in the Adirondacks.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation would like to remind hikers, and all who enjoy outdoor recreation to follow the “common sense rules of the outdoors,” such as preparing for arduous conditions, avoiding sensitive ecology, picking up your trash, and respecting your fellow visitors and those working to protect our wilderness.
We are currently experiencing a boom in outdoor recreation, with areas of the Adirondack park and the Catskill Parks reaching record numbers of visitors. Issues of littering, trash, and unprepared hikers affecting natural resources have increased in proportion to these record numbers, and it is essential to reinforce these common sense rules in order to protect both the safety of the public and the integrity of the sensitive plants and wildlife.
Adirondack scientist, photographer, and conservation advocate Brendan Wiltse has joined Paul Smith’s College as Visiting Assistant Professor with its new Masters of Science program and Water Quality Director with the college’s Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI). Brendan is a graduate of Paul Smith’s College and earned his Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Ontario.
Brendan comes to the college from the Ausable River Association (AsRA) where for 6 years as Science and Stewardship Director he contributed to the group’s efforts to protect the Ausable River watershed through science and community engagement.
Everyone has something they have received for free from some sort of convention, fair, conference or event. Most of us let these free giveaways and trinkets pile up in drawers and desks until they are eventually thrown out.
Once they are thrown out, they pile up in a landfill somewhere and the resources that went into making them end up being wasted as well. Many of the popular promotional items chosen to be giveaways are not recyclable, things such as stress balls, flash drives, and other tiny plastic oddities.
When the world starts back up again and large-scale events with promotional giveaways start happening again, check out the DEC’s “Green Your Giveaways” PDF Guide to help plan better promotional items without unintentionally increasing your carbon footprint. The DEC recommends the following tips when purchasing the items that you need:
In case you missed it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that he would not be putting the $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act on the November ballot this year.
Cuomo said he was postponing it, due to the state’s dire finances. Though the bond act passed the state Legislature this year, a provision in the state budget said if finances were poor, the state budget director has the authority to pull the bond act from a public vote. That move, however, effectively kills the bond act.
As Plastic Free July comes to an end, here are some takeaways from DEC campaign participants Kayla and Nasibah.
Kayla’s Goal: Reduce plastic meal packaging, beverage jugs, and toiletries
- Simple Swap Success – Reusable Storage Bags and Stretch Lids: “I started using freezer safe reusable silicone food storage bags and stretch lids. The reusable stretch lids are perfect for when all of your food storage containers are being used. You can just pop a reusable lid over your dish or bowl and you’re done! The reusable food storage bags and lids are easy to use and come in a variety of sizes and material types. If you’re tight on storage space, both are slim and don’t take up a lot of room in refrigerators or cabinets. I definitely recommend trying them out!”
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced this week that the State has issued a Drought Watch for four regions of New York, including Long Island, the Upper Hudson/Mohawk area, the Adirondacks, and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence area. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos issued the watch after consulting with experts from the State Drought Management Task Force. The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels, and streamflow and groundwater levels in nine designated drought regions throughout New York. For more detailed drought information, visit DEC’s drought webpage.
A watch is the first of four levels of state drought advisories (“watch,” “warning,” “emergency” and “disaster”). There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch. However, local public water suppliers may require such measures depending upon local needs and conditions. Visit DEC’s Saving Water Makes Good Sense webpage for conservation tips that homeowners can take to voluntarily reduce their water usage.
The early discovery of Asian Long Horned Beetle infestations saves money and trees.
State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is encouraging the citizens of New York, especially those that own swimming pools, to engage in the DEC’s Annual Asian Long horned beetle Swimming Pool Survey.
Asian long horned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults during the late summer and become the most active outside of their host trees. The goal of this survey is to pinpoint the locations of these infestations before they cause detrimental damage to our state’s forests and trees.
In response to increased litter left behind by visitors to New York’s natural areas, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released a new PSA to remind outdoor adventurers to follow the principles of Leave No Trace. The PSA features images of trash in the Catskills and the Adirondacks with a reminder that litter is not only unsightly, but can be deadly to New York’s wildlife.
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