Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Hydrilla Treatment Starts

Written By: Joe Melillo

Treatment starts to rid the Cayuga inlet of a plant that could choke out the entire ecosystem.

Hydrilla Treatment Starts
 

June 26, 2012

Ithaca (WENY) - Treatment starts in an effort rid the Cayuga inlet of a plant that could choke out the entire ecosystem. If it keeps spreading, the Finger Lakes and Great Lakes would be at risk. As the lakes go, so goes business in the region. So it's imperative to contain the Hydrilla invasion to the inlet, then kill it off completely. The sound of fan boats going up and down the Cayuga Inlet is exactly what Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick wants to hear.

“This is ground zero of this Hydrilla infestation. If we don't control it here, it will get into Cayuga Lake. If it gets into Cayuga Lake then it could get into the canal system into all of the other Finger Lakes and god forbid the Great Lakes.”

Its green, its dangerous, and it can destroy an entire community. No Its not Godzilla; but Hydrilla, and today treatment started to fight the plant in the Cayuga Inlet.

Roxanna Johnston the City's Watershed Coordinator says today is important for the long run.

“We caught this early most people don't catch these infestations this early we have a really good shot of being successful so far so good.”

The city is using a little over a million dollars in state and federal funding to battle the plant. Finding it at the right time

“Its a multi-year process if you give up or lose enthusiasm five years down the path, its almost like you wasted all that effort because Hydrilla can just take over,” says Johnston.

“Boaters know better than anyone what will happen if this plant get out of control in our inlet. It's not about shutting down the inlet for one day, if we don't control this plant its going to hinder boating in the inlet forever,” says Myrick.

Boaters should be allowed back in the inlet by Thursday. The city will continuously monitor infected areas.