Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced on June 3 that he is leading an effort to secure $100 million over four years in federal funding for a multistate effort to control hydrilla in the Connecticut River watershed.
In an event at Harbor Park in Middletown, Blumenthal said he is seeking an urgent fiscal year 2022 appropriation for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Aquatic Nuisance Research Program and the Aquatic Plant Control Program to create a task force to controlHydrilla verticillata.
The invasive plant has spread exponentially throughout the Connecticut River, from Agawam, MA., to Essex, CT. The hydrilla in the Connecticut River has been shown through genetic testing to be a type not previously found in the United States. Hydrilla poses a great risk to the wetland ecosystems, public drinking water supplies and recreational and tourism industries in New England and New York state, according to information from Blumenthal’s office.
The task force would be centered in Connecticut and led by the Army Corps, the Aquatic Invasive Species Program of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. It would create and implement a strategic Plan of Action that would:
prevent further spread
mitigate hydrilla’s affects
eradicate where feasible
monitor to ensure rapid response to future occurrences
Connecticut Sea Grant has joined 14 other government agencies, environmental and community groups thus far in support of Blumenthal’s efforts. Connecticut Sea Grant’s letter of support can be foundhere. An informational article from Sen. Blumenthal’s office can be foundhere.
The common theme is sustainable gardening, with emphasis on water quality and connecting the watershed to Long Island Sound (and these days, quality of life).Preston shares ways gardeners can work in the dirt without having a negative impact. From tips and techniques to trends and growing towards sustainability, “Gardening for Good” is a great resource!
Recordings of the first three shows are also available on the website:
The April 3 show featured guest Nancy Ballek of Ballek’s Garden Center in East Haddam
The March 6 show featured guest Mary Ellen Lemay, originator of the Pollinator Pathways project in CT and N.Y.
For the first show on Feb. 7, Preston provided an overview of the program and gardening resources.
Many of us have heard about watershed protection efforts. Perhaps you live in a drinking water supply watershed. Poor Willy Wonka was wrongly accused of poisoning the watershed of his brown river (it turned out to be chocolate). But what is a watershed, really? In physical terms, a watershed is an area of land that drains to a specified point. The size of the watershed depends upon where you put the point. For example, a tiny stream that runs near your home might have a relatively small area of land that drains to it, but the point on the Connecticut River where it meets the Long Island Sound has a very large watershed (11,300 square miles!) that extends all the way up to Canada. So we all live in a watershed, it just depends on where you put the point! Read more…