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Invasives fight continues with online seminars

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Emerald ash borer

The emerald ash borer is seen. The ash borer is one of the Adirondack invasive species that will be focused on this week to raise awareness of the invasive species issue.

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program and its partners are kicking off this year’s Invasive Species Awareness Week, taking place now, with a free “Love Your Lakes” online workshop on Zoom at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The online webinar will explore everything novice and experienced boaters need to know to prevent the spread of harmful invasive plants and animals when exploring North Country waters.

“With so many new and returning visitors to our Adirondack waterways, this workshop is a great way to ‘dive’ into summer and learn how to protect our lakes and rivers,” said Tammara Van Ryn, manager of the program.

The Adirondack region’s five main watersheds host more than 11,000 lakes and ponds and more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.

“The Adirondacks are unique,” Van Ryn said. “Unlike many other regions of New York, here 75% of the waterways we have surveyed remain free of aquatic invasive species.”

But a few plant stems or tiny mollusks can start an infestation. The invasives program supports a state law that would require boaters to clean, drain and dry their boats to prevent the spread of invasive species.

“It is so important for all boaters, whether operating canoes or kayaks or motorboats, to practice Clean, Drain, Dry,” Northern Forest Canoe Trail Executive Director Karrie Thomas said.

Registration for the event can be found at adkinvasives.com.

Reaching out

The invasives program is launching an outreach campaign to prevent the spread of aquatic and land-based invasive species. New, colorful and informative posters and brochures are available for free to Adirondack nonprofits and businesses that can help get the word out.

“Ensuring travelers and residents have the information they need to safely and responsibly recreate in the Adirondacks is a top priority for us,” Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Communications Coordinator Janelle Hoh said in a news release.

Adirondack-specific posters and “rack cards” with the “Don’t Move Firewood” message are also available. Last summer, the first infestation of the emerald ash borer was found in the Adirondacks. Moving firewood is one of the ways the emerald ash borer can spread to new locations.

Buying firewood near to where you burn it, or buying heat-treated firewood, are the best ways to prevent the spread of this devastating forest pest.

The state departments of Environmental Conservation and Agriculture and Markets are working on the state’s eighth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week.

There are webinars, guided hikes and volunteer events to remove invasive species planned throughout the week. A complete list of events can be found on the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week Events webpage.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a proclamation to support the annual campaign to encourage New Yorkers to learn more and participate in the fight against invasive species.

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