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July 28, 2014

Volunteers Continue Attack on Invasive Plants on August 2

The public is invited to join a group of concerned citizens to help save the Oswego River from an invasive plant. Participants will meet at 16 Hickory Grove Spur in Fulton on Saturday, August 2, at 10 a.m. to conduct a community water chestnut pull in the Oswego River. Pictured from left are Pat Harrington, Dan Kasperek and Cat Hadlow as they pull plants found in the old Oswego Canal section of the river near Battle Island..

FULTON-Volunteers will gather once again to attack invasive plants on Saturday, August 2 from 10 a.m. to noon. The event is organized by Richard and NaneenDrosse to focus on the historic Battle Island and Guard Lock area of the Oswego River. Participants will meet at their home at 16 Hickory Grove Spur in Fulton to launch their canoes and kayaks.

The groupwillhand-pull thewater chestnut plantswhere there are sporadic and small clusters of them. Collection bags will be furnished by the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District to keep the chestnuts contained.

"We want to encourage the public to come out and participate in this event to help protect the Oswego River," said Richard Drosse, event organizer. "Each nutlet can sprout several water chestnut rosette plants off its main stem and these, in turn, can produce four to eight new nutlets. This cycle creates large floating mats of vegetation that restrict the penetration of sunlight, limit the growth of native plants, and disrupt the food web."

John DeHollander, district manager of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District, is coordinating water chestnut control efforts in Oswego County. "The water chestnut plant is an invasive species that, once established, can significantly reduce the quality of the native habitat, impede recreational use of waterways, and interfere with aquatic ecosystems. Water chestnuts are present in sections of the Oswego River, Oneida River and Oneida Lake as well as in shallow areas of the lower Salmon River Estuary," said DeHollander.

It is difficult to slow the spread of the water chestnut once it becomes established in a shallow water area. Volunteers have successfully led hand-pull efforts over the past several summers to remove the plant from the Salmon River Estuary, Oneida Lake and sections of the Oswego River. Last year, the Soil and Water Conservation District applied a chemical treatment to more than 200 acres of water chestnut plants on the Oswego River.

A water chestnut pull was held in Port Ontario earlier in July and featured a presentation about invasive species from the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species (SLELO-PRISM). Other participating organizations included the Salmon River Guides Association, Selkirk Shores State Park, the Pine Grove Association, New York Sea Grant and several concerned individuals and families.

The event on August 2 will be held in the event of light rain; however, in high winds or lightening, the event will be postponed and re-scheduled. Paddlers should bring their personal floatation devices along with their canoes or kayaks.

For more information or to sign up for the pull, contact Richard and NaneenDrosse at 315-343-4565 or rdrosse@twcny.rr.com. Refreshments will be provided following the event.

Additional information about water chestnuts can be found at www.nps.gov

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