New York Power Authority and Senator Seward
Announce Funding for Wetlands Research by SUNY Oneonta
September 5, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COOPERSTOWN—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and
Senator James L. Seward (R-C-I, Milford) today announced $10,000 in
funding for research by the State University of New York (SUNY) at
Oneonta to control and monitor the growth of an invasive aquatic
plant, the water chestnut, in an Otsego County wetlands area.
On Tuesday, NYPA and Senator Seward presented
ceremonial checks to the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station (BFS)
by Otsego Lake, part of the New York State portion of the
Susquehanna River Basin, whose upper watershed area has been
impacted by the water chestnut.
“The spread of water chestnuts—a nonnative
species—is a real concern given its rapid growth over large areas
that can impede other horticultural life along with recreational
activities on waterways,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and
chief executive officer. “Its growth can also pose problems for
hydropower projects, such as NYPA’s Crescent and Vischer Ferry
facilities on the Mohawk River.”
“Excessive spread of water chestnuts have
long-term, negative effects on our area's lakes and rivers, and who
better to head up this effort than SUNY Oneonta's Biological Field
Station. New York State Senate and the New York Power Authority are
each providing $5,000 grants [for a total of $10,000] for the field
station to study, monitor and control the invasive water chestnut,”
said Senator Seward.
"We are very appreciative for the support of the
Power Authority and Senator Seward for our research,” said Dr.
Willard N. Harman of SUNY Oneonta’s BFS. “It enables us to learn how
to address, and then to stress the importance of controlling,
aggressive exotic species that are a very real threat to the entire
Susquehanna Drainage System and the Chesapeake Bay in economically
and environmentally effective ways."
Harman noted that water chestnuts can cover a large
area, in a manner that resembles a dense floating mat. In doing so,
they reduce the growth of other aquatic species and the passage of
light for a balanced ecosystem. The sharp spines of the vegetation
can also limit boating, fishing, swimming and other recreational
The BFS’s multiyear study will help determine the
effectiveness of the selective herbicide treatment, as an
alternative to manual or mechanical removal of the water chestnuts
or the remedies being part of a combined solution. Herbicide 2,4-D,
used in the study, is approved by federal and state agencies.
The New York State Invasive Species Task Force,
created by legislation signed into law by Governor Pataki in 2003,
recognized water chestnuts as an invasive, nonnative species.
■ NYPA uses no tax money or
state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of
bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of
electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting
energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric
transportation initiatives. ■ It is the
nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating
facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400
circuit-miles of transmission lines.
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