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For Release: Monday, July 1, 2019

DEC Marks Invasive Species Awareness Week with Water Chestnut Pull at Wantagh Mill Pond

Supports NYS Invasive Species Awareness Week: July 7-13, 2019

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invites the public to participate in the hand removal of invasive Water Chestnut from Wantagh Mill Pond in support of Invasive Species Awareness Week in New York.

The Water Chestnut is an aquatic invasive plant that competes with native aquatic vegetation and is a nuisance to recreational activities, such as fishing and boating. It is native to Eurasia and Africa and was introduced to the United States in the mid-1800s as an ornamental plant. Water Chestnut soon began colonizing areas of freshwater lakes, ponds and slow-moving streams and rivers where it negatively impacts aquatic ecosystems and water recreation. It was first found on Long Island around 2008 and has spread to a handful of lakes and ponds in the region.

This invasive plant can form dense tangled mats that float on the surface of the water. It's stems reach down to the substrate of the waterbody and has the potential to cover the entire system. DEC and volunteers manage many of these sites using hand removal to prevent the further spread of this aquatic invasive.

DEC staff and volunteers will kayak, canoe, or wade into the water and hand pull the invasive species from Wantagh Mill Pond.

What: Annual DEC invasive species Water Chestnut "hand pull"
When: Friday, July 12, 2019
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Rain or shine.
Where: Wantagh Mill Pond. Meeting Location: Wantagh Mill Pond, Merrick Rd, Wantagh, New York (1/2 mile west of Wantagh Pkwy)

DEC encourages volunteers to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for this activity and to bring their own canoes or kayaks and safety equipment. Food and drinks also recommended. Those interested in participating should RSVP via email to Luke Gervase or call 631-444-0280.

This project is made possible by DEC and the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area (LIISMA) Prism (link leaves DEC website). This water chestnut "hand pull" raises awareness about Invasive Species Awareness Week (link leaves DEC website), which promotes public knowledge and understanding of invasive species and efforts to prevent their spread. Invasive species affect all New Yorkers, from hikers to highway personnel, birders to boaters, and farmers to foresters.