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Invasive plant problem closes Treman launch

    ITHACA—The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has closed the boat launch at the Allan H. Treman State Marine Park to stop the spread of an invasive aquatic plant that has been found in the Cayuga Inlet.
    According to the Tompkins County Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Cayuga Inlet is the first upstate location where the Hydrilla verticillata has been found, discovered in August. The TCCCE website explains the plant, known commonly as “hydrilla” or “water thyme,” “grows aggressively, up to an inch per day, and creates a thick mat of vegetation when it reaches the water’s surface. Hydrilla quickly shades out other aquatic plants, displacing native species.”
    The extension adds that the risk of the invasive plant spreading to Cayuga Lake and other regional waterbodies is “substantial.” Fragments of the plant, which are easily caught and transported by boats and boat trailers, can sprout roots and establish new populations. Fragments also float and are capable of dispersing via wind and water currents.
    Hydrilla has long slender stems that can grow underwater to lengths of up to 25 feet. Its identifying characteristics are four to eight small, pointed leaves that are arranged in circular whorls along the length of the stem. The edges of the leaves are lined with sharp teeth. Hydrilla is often confused with native water weeds.
    The state park office said Treman marine park boat launch will remain closed for the rest of the season to stop the spread of Hydrilla. The city of Ithaca has also requested that boaters not travel through the Cayuga Inlet at this time.

 

 

 

 





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