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Mechanical Harvesting of Water Chestnuts in the Mystic River
Water chestnuts are fast-growing invasive aquatic plants that choke waterways, damaging recreational opportunities and natural habitats. These plants displace native species, reduce biodiversity, hamper recreational uses and diminish the aesthetic value of bodies of water. They can negatively impact native vegetation and fish populations by forming large dense mats of vegetation on the water surface, intercepting sunlight to the exclusion of other submerged plants. This depletes the available oxygen in the water, which can lead to fish kills and harm other aquatic organisms.

“Aquatic invasive species present a significant problem for recreation, wildlife and overall health of a river,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Jack Murray. “Mechanical harvesting of water chestnuts is an efficient method of removal that can prevent long-term deterioration of these important urban river areas.”

Ongoing since Aug. 1, 2013, a large-scale mechanical harvesting operation removes the invasive water chestnut plants in the Mystic River.


 
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