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For Release: Friday, January 12, 2018

DEC Announces First Year of Croton River Hydrilla Control Project Has Reduced Infestations of Invasive Pest By 80 Percent

Public Meeting Scheduled Jan. 24 in Croton-on-Hudson to Release Project

New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that the first year of DEC's five-year Croton River Hydrilla Control Project to combat hydrilla in the Croton River has reduced infestations of the aquatic invasive plant by 80 percent. Surveys of inlets and bays along the Hudson River indicated that hydrilla did not spread beyond the Croton River system in 2017.

"The Croton River Hydrilla Control Project is the latest example of New York's comprehensive approach to protecting our environment by investing in projects that effectively combat the spread of invasive species threatening the vitality of our state's precious natural resources," Commissioner Seggos said. "DEC has worked closely with the community and key stakeholders to gather the most up-to-date information regarding hydrilla control and build a solid foundation for a successful long-term project."

Launched in July 2017, DEC's Croton River Hydrilla Control Project is an aggressive five-year management plan that uses herbicide treatment fluridone (Sonar Genesis) to attack infestations and prevent future occurrences.

Following application of the herbicide in October, surveys of the Croton River have shown significant reductions of infestations and dramatic improvements in the quality of overall river habitat. Additionally, water celery, a native plant of concern that provides important habitat for wildlife, was not impacted by the treatment.

A public stakeholder meeting will be held at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building in Croton-on-Hudson on January 24, 2018, to share the results of the project's first year and outline plans for 2018. DEC plans to start the herbicide treatment in late May, when hydrilla plants are smaller, so less herbicide is needed to achieve effective control.

Surveys of priority locations along the Hudson River will continue to inform and guide future actions.

"We started projects to deal with invasive species in our parks and supported DEC's hydrilla treatment to ensure that our village recreation space remains available to future generations of Crotonites," said Mayor Greg Schmidt and Trustee Bob Anderson, Village of Croton-on-Hudson in a joint statement.

The first season of herbicide treatment began in July 2017, and is being conducted by environmental contractors SOLitude Lake Management and SePRO Corporation with DEC oversight.

The federally listed noxious weed Hydrilla verticillata was first discovered in the Croton River in October 2013. This invasive pest poses a significant threat to the village of Croton's drinking water quality, biodiversity, fish populations, and recreation. For more details about the Croton River Hydrilla Control Project, visit DEC's website.

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