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For Release: Friday, August 21, 2015

DEC Awards $50,000 Contract to Survey Invasive Hydrilla in Croton Bay and the Hudson River

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program and the Office of Invasive Species Coordination (OISC), in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), today announced a $50,000 contract award to Allied Biological to conduct a survey of the aquatic macrophyte Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), also known as water thyme, in the tidal Hudson River estuary. The contract is issued by NEIWPCC and funded under the state Environmental Protection Fund.

Hydrilla is a highly invasive submersed aquatic plant that can have significant negative ecological, recreational and economic impacts in areas it invades. Hydrilla was recently found in the tidal portion of the Croton River and Bay connected to the Hudson River.

"Invasive species can have profound impacts on ecosystem health and native plant and animal communities," DEC Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman said. "This project is a first step in understanding the impacts of Hydrilla on the Hudson River Estuary and will provide important information about its distribution to natural resource managers working to maintain and improve the health and resiliency of the Hudson River Estuary."

Survey methods will include standardized rake toss protocols and assessment of plant tubers (root-like structures) in the soil. The purpose of this project is to identify the extent of Hydrilla at selected locations in the Hudson River both north and south of Croton Bay, and gather information about plant conditions that may be used for future management strategies. The final project report will include assessment of Hydrilla distribution in the Hudson River estuary and results of the plant tuber analysis at select locations near Croton Bay. The survey complements research conducted within Croton River and Bay in 2014.

Funding for the survey is provided through the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission and is administered under DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program.

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