Thursday, July 16, 2015

NYS DEC Announces New York State Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan

Public Notice

Final New York State Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan

Eurasian milfoil in Adirondack Lake
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) threaten the ecology of New York's freshwater resources and can harm water-based recreational and commercial uses to the point that they impact local economies. New York is particularly vulnerable to AIS due to its vast marine and freshwater resources, major commercial ports and the easy access that ocean-going vessels have to the Great Lakes via the State's canal system. Managing an infestation is extremely costly, so prevention is the most cost effective strategy.

The goal of this plan is to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in New York State. This will be accomplished through the completion of over 50 actions concerning the prevention, detection and response to AIS. Although the plan is directed at New York State's fresh waters, many of the actions called for in the plan will be beneficial in addressing this issue for marine and coastal portions of the state. A draft plan was completed, and notice of its availability for public comment from October 29 - December 12, 2014 appeared in the October 29, 2014 issue of the Environmental Notices Bulletin. Comments were received from the general public and from individuals representing organizations.

Nearly 300 comments were addressed in the Responsiveness Summary which is included as an appendix to the plan, priority actions identified in the plan include:
  • Expanding the boat launch steward program and ensuring consistency of these programs statewide.
  • Developing an AIS response framework to guide decision-making when AIS are detected, and communicate the reasoning for the response selected.
  • Implementing an AIS public awareness campaign and evaluating its effectiveness in reaching target audiences.
  • Expanding the use of AIS disposal stations at waterway access sites.
  • Creating regional "First Responder" AIS teams to incorporate local expertise in planning and implementing appropriate responses to AIS.
  • Identifying and evaluating the risks associated with various pathways for AIS introduction and movement within New York.

The final plan is available at: www.dec.ny.gov/animals/99053.html.

Contact: Phil Hulbert, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753, Phone: (518) 402-8890.

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