Go Green Report: Water Chestnuts

Go Green Report: Water Chestnuts

The water chestnut is not native to the Rochester area, and it can choke out other plants that are supposed to be living here.
The fight is on against a pesky plant that is threatening some of our areas waterways, and now local volunteers are trying to get rid of the water chestnut.   

It's a hands-on job, that a group of 28 volunteers know will make a difference.  Pulling water chestnuts from Braddock Bay, is not an easy job... they have to be pulled by hand, one by one.

"It's a dirty messy job but we are out there in canoes and kayaks just bagging this stuff," explained the pull's coordinator, Hilary Mosher.

The water chestnut is not native to the Rochester area and it can choke out other water plants that are supposed to live here.  A number of groups including the Department of Environmental Conservation, the College at Brockport, the Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society hope to get rid of it before it is too late.  

"We need to make sure it remains healthy," attested June Summers of the Genesee Valley Audubon Society.  "We need to get this invasive out because it will take over the bay if it's allowed to very quickly."

Volunteers have already pulled dozens of bags full of water chestnuts from the lake but their work is far from over.

"I brought 75 bags, and we still had to go out and buy more," sighed Mosher.

The group is working quickly because once the plant drops it's seeds it can multiply very fast.

The College at Brockport's Brad Mudrzynski says, "it can basically take over an area in a cove pretty quickly."

"One acre of this plant for one year can create 100 acres the following years," said Mosher.  That's something no one wants to see happen.


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