New York DEC Reaches Accord With Invasive Species Institute

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by the Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance.ALBANY — In an effort to combat the influx of invasive species in New York, the Department of Environmental Conservation has reached an agreement to work with the New York Invasive Species Institute and Cornell University.The new partnerships with the New York Invasive Species Research Institute (NYISRI) and Cornell University to develop and support projects and research to help limit the spread of invasive species.“New York State recognizes the challenges we face preventing the spread of invasive species, particularly in light of our changing climate, changing habitats, and changing ecosystems,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “With sustained support and investments through the Environmental Protection Fund, DEC’s invasive species program continues to be a national leader, and the work of Cornell and the New York Invasive Species Institute bolster and complement New York’s efforts to effectively manage invasive species.”Cornell University is the current host for the Invasive Species Research Institute. Nearly 50 scientific investigations about invasive species have been/are being conducted. Today’s announcement sustains the State’s ongoing collaboration with NYISRI to coordinate invasive species research and develop outreach efforts to conserve New York’s hemlock resources in the face of multiple threats, particularly the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect. Supported by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund with $3.5 million, the NYISRI five-year term agreement includes $2.5 million for invasive species projects; the agreement with Cornell University includes a two-year term with $1 million to support the New York Hemlock Initiative.The five-year project memorandum of understanding (MOU) will support key positions and services at NYISRI for focused work on identifying invasive species, education, outreach, and targeted control efforts. NYISRI performs many critical and innovative tasks in the field of invasive species research, including biological control of water chestnut (Trapa natans), swallow-wort (Cynanchum spp.), and japanese knotweed (Reynoutria spp.), as well as measuring success and associated metric development and coordinating invasive species research needs in New York State.New York is home to vast stands of eastern hemlock trees (Tsuga canadensis). These trees are threatened by the introduction of the invasive insect HWA and other environmental stressors. HWA is now a serious threat to the survival of hemlock in eastern forests. Funded through the MOU, Cornell’s New York Hemlock Initiative provides a critical service by developing methods to conserve hemlock, including the growth and release of several biological control agents and other fundamental survey, research, and trend analyses.The Hemlock Initiative includes collaboration with professional land managers, state and federal agencies, government officials, and concerned citizens to understand the issues and strategies for minimizing the impact of forest insect pests and non-native invasive insects, such as HWA. Research is now underway on the forest stand dynamics of invasive non-native forest pest impacts and implementation of biological control strategies for HWA. This initiative involves the completion of a statewide prioritization of hemlock stands, establishment and maintenance of hemlock nursery stock to host biocontrol agents, and the rearing, release, and monitoring of non-native predatory insects into the environment to reduce the severity and extent of HWA infestations in New York State and reduce or prevent hemlock mortality.Cornell University also houses the Sarkaria Arthropod Research Laboratory, a quarantine facility that provides research capacity for arthropods and experimentation on their biology and control. The facility houses exotic pest species and non-indigenous arthropods with the potential to serve as biological control agents of pests.The outcomes of these projects inform activities undertaken by DEC, NYISRI, New York’s eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs) and other partners.Additional areas of focus include:Water Chestnut Biological Control: Water chestnut, an aquatic invasive species, has had significant negative ecological and economic consequences. Conventional mechanical control of water chestnut is labor intensive and must be maintained in perpetuity. However, development of a biological control program offers hope for a cost-effective and ecologically sound alternative. Cornell University evaluated a potential biocontrol agent between 2002 and 2005. This contract will allow for the continuation of work initiated at Cornell University to test and implement a biocontrol program for water chestnut.Swallow-wort Biological Control: Swallow-wort is an aggressive invasive perennial plant that forms dense patches in a variety of habitats and which may have negative impacts on monarch butterfly populations. Current practices to control invasive swallow-worts include the application of herbicides and mechanical removal. These practices can have negative side effects. The pilot biological control project was initiated in New York State 2018. Maintaining the established Swallow-wort Biocontrol Research Collaborative supports rearing and releases of an approved biocontrol agent for swallow-worts.Japanese Knotweed Biological Control: Japanese knotweed is a perennial herb with shrub-like form grows 3-9′ and threatens riparian corridors, fens, springs, ravines, forests, and streamsides. This five-year agreement will renew efforts to locate and test additional biocontrol agents for Japanese knotweed using demographic and phylogenetic approaches.Dr. Bernd Blossey, Professor, Department of Natural Resources for NYISRI/Cornell University, said, “With the significant long-term funding provided by the DEC, we are enabled to continue important fundamental and applied work to help protect and restore New York’s biodiversity and ecosystems in collaboration with other scientists and land managers across the state.”Entomologist Mark Whitmore of Cornell University said, “State support for the New York State Hemlock Initiative has been crucial for our ability to develop a network of cooperators and management strategies, including biological controls, in response to the threat to our hemlocks posed by HWA. The rapid and coordinated response by DEC and private conservation organizations with the recent discovery of HWA in the Lake George area is a prime example of how education and planning can help save the magnificent hemlock forests of New York.”last_img read more

Kotoko win SWAG Cup with late Eric Donkor free kick

first_imgAsante Kotoko beat the Ghana Premier League champions by a goal to nil to win the SIC H.P Nyametei SWAG Cup on Sunday at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi in the presence of their life patron and owner Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene.Eric Donkor carried his last season’s form into the pre-season by scoring a 90 minute goal to help his side clinch the SWAG Cup for a record 14 time.The first half was balanced, but Ashgold who have augmented their squad with the inclusion of the Nuhu brothers, Fuseini Nuhu and Alhassan from New Edubiase United were slightly on top in the half.However, Kotoko managed coil the attacking threats of the Miners and settled for a scoreless draw to end the half.Coach David Duncan started the game with some new faces, namely Theophilus Nyame, who played the holding midfield role, Stephen Nyarko, Edwin Tuffour Frimpong, Osei Agyemang while the likes of Kwame Boahene, Bennett Ofori came on as substitutes. The fire power of Ashgold was quenched by Kotoko who came top in the second half and created some decent chances, but their attacking line failed to put the ball past Robert Dabuo in the league champions post.Coach Bashiru Hayford gambled in the 90 minute by replacing Robert Dabuo with Nana Bonsu to conjure magic for Ashanti Gold should the referee blow his whistle to usher the two sides into penalty shootout to break the tie.But, it failed to work out for him as Ashgold conceded a free kick, just outside the 18-yard box and the sensational Eric Donkor finished off to beat rusty Nana Bonsu in his first test in the game.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more