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Hydrilla threatens the Finger Lakes
The plant hydrilla, was found late last summer in the creeks at the south end of Cayuga Lake at Ithaca. An initial control effort to beat it back last fall had failed and New York state officials have said they can only promise $50,000 in state money and possibly $380,000 in federal money could come through for this year as well.

Unfortunately an effective eradication strategy will cost upward of $1 million a year for the next five to eight years according to Joe Mareane, the Tompkins County administrator. “Without that strategy and funding to DEC to implement it, hydrilla will spread rapidly, causing incalculable environmental and economic damage to waterways that are critical to the upstate economy and quality of life.”

Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant that roots at the bottom of lakes and creeks and forms thick mats on the water’s surface and crowds out other aquatic vegetation. Hydrilla consumes oxygen in the water which stresses or even kills fish; it clogs water intakes, and impedes recreation.

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