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Mother Nature Spreading Aquatic Invasive Species
Humans are the biggest culprit when it comes to spreading aquatic invasive species, but Mother Nature is also impacting that spread. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers annual budget for controlling invasive aquatic plants has grown from $124 million in 2008 to $135 million in 2012.

In Vermont, the floodwaters and repair work from Tropical Storm Irene broke off portions of stems and woody rhizomes of the aggressive Japanese knotweed. Japanese knotweed spreads quickly on riverbanks, floodplains and roadsides, choking out native plants, degrading habitats of fish, birds and insects, and weakening stream banks.

Camp Brook, a tributary of the White River, has been stripped of trees, rock, and other native plants due to the floodwaters. Efforts are under way to restore the bare banks with native trees and shrubs that will hopefully shade out the knotweed which is beginning to grow in the absence of the natives.

Asian carp have been moved from the Missouri and Mississippi rivers into isolated lakes and oxbows due to the flooding last year. Some carp were even able to pass over dams during the floods

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Georgica Pond Opened for Shellfishing after Toxic Blue-Green Algae - Last year, the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation leased an aquatic weed harvester to remove macroalgae from the pond. As it decays, the macroalgae provides nutrients to harmful algae such as cyanobacteria. The removal last summer of more than 55,000 pounds of macroalgae is believed to be responsible for a substantial reduction in the levels of cyanobacteria recorded last year, and may be a factor in the relatively brief bloom that occurred last month.

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