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BFS Seeks Volunteers To Pull Water Chestnut Next Week

July 13, 2011

BFS Seeks Volunteers To Pull Water Chestnut Next Week

ONEONTA – Next Tuesday, July 19, SUNY-Oneonta Biological Field Station and Otsego County Conservation Association staff will continue efforts to control the spread of water chestnut here. Volunteers are being sought for eradication of water chestnut, an aquatic invasive species, from the wetlands area behind the State Troopers’ barracks off of Route 7 in west Oneonta.

Volunteers are asked to meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Kwikway convenience store, 167 Oneida Street, in Oneonta. From there, the group will move to the site to carry out handpulling of the plants from non-motorized boats. Those able to bring canoes or johnboats are invited to do so. Gloves, sunscreen, insect repellant and drinking water are recommended.

The water chestnut is a noxious, aggressive exotic plant that has been identified as a serious threat by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Water chestnut have a stem which extends to the surface of the water and ends in a rosette of floating, saw-toothed leaves. The plants bear a spiky fruit which can pierce flip-flops and soft-soled shoes. Water chestnut can clog pipes, canals and waterways and adversely affect the environment by removing oxygen from the water and out competing native vegetation. This wetlands area drains into the Susquehanna River, where movement of these plants downstream may cause serious ecological and economic impacts as far as the Chesapeake Bay.

For more information on Tuesday’s water chestnut handpulling session, call Holly Waterfield at the Biological Field Station, 607-547-5081.

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