Hello! My name is Lindsey Kollmer and I am honored and excited to be the Connecticut River Estuary Aquatic Invasive Plant Steward Intern for the summer of 2020. I am a rising Junior at UConn currently pursuing a double major of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Molecular & Cellular Biology. I am a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society at UConn and enjoy crocheting comfort objects for babies in the NICU as a part of the Knit for NICU club.
As part of my internship this summer I am focusing on protecting the lower CT River from two aquatic invasive species in the CT River Estuary: Water Chestnut and Hydrilla. I am working to raise public awareness about these plants and how destructive they can be to the local ecology, public enjoyment, and economy of the river. After just a short time learning about these plants, I am alarmed at the destruction they bring (and their potential for a lot more!). This ignited even more motivation in me to help inform people about the simple ways they can prevent the spread of aquatic invasives to protect our valuable resources and favorite outdoor places.
To enrich my internship experience, I am volunteering with the Friends of Whalebone Cove to “paddle and pull” or hand-pull Water Chestnut from local coves off the river. It is so rewarding to see the difference in a location before and after pulling Water Chestnut. (Catch me on the UConn Extension Instagram at a Water Chestnut pulling event!)
I am so lucky to be making a difference so close to home and to be working with such knowledgeable mentors from CT Sea Grant, Judy Preston, and Nancy Balcom. Every day I am learning something new and cannot wait to continue my internship journey!