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Hydrilla Discovery in Cayuga Lake
An 18-year old intern on the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom received the Distinguished Civic Service Award from the Ithaca Power and Sail Squadron for her discovery of hydrilla. The one inch sample which had gotten caught in her net is the first confirmed case of hydrilla in the Cayuga Lake.

Hydrilla, a highly invasive species forms dense mats of vegetation that interfere with recreation and destroy fish and wildlife habitat. Hydrilla has become well established throughout water bodies in southern states where control and management costs millions of dollars each year.

Hydrilla closely resembles native plant elodea so the discovery took an amazing ability to notice the subtle difference. The advance warning provided could potentially save millions of dollars – once Hydrilla becomes established in a waterbody it is nearly impossible to eradicate.

Elodea                          Hydrilla

ElodeaHydrilla

 
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Agricultural Runoff Fueling Aquatic Overgrowth - Over the past several years, the backwaters of the upper Mississippi River have seen an increase in duckweed and algal blooms, growing into thick, green mats on the surface of the water. The free-floating flora is a nuisance for anglers, boaters and swimmers alike, but the overgrowth is problematic for the aquatic ecosystem as well.


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