Posts Tagged ‘AWSMP’

Leprechaun Bees in Search of Native Plant Gold!

Posted on: March 23rd, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

It’s spring now and because St. Patrick’s Day just passed, we are tak­ing a look at one of nature’s small­est lep­rechauns.… Augochlorop­sis metal­lica, a type of Sweat Bee. Native and metal­lic green, metal­lica is smaller than a Honey Bee!

Augochloropsis metallica (head)

Augochlorop­sis metal­lica (head)

Since these bees are so small, it takes a keen eye to spot them. Augo­chorop­sis metal­lica is found through­out the United States, from Ontario to Florida, and as far west as Ari­zona! They are usu­ally around from March until Novem­ber, with their flu­o­res­cent emer­ald green bod­ies shim­mer­ing in the daylight.

Augochloropsis metallica (back)

Augochlorop­sis metal­lica (back)

Augochloropsis metallica (side)

Augochlorop­sis metal­lica (side)

These beau­ti­fully tiny native bees have been sighted in two loca­tions around the Ashokan Water­shed, Stony Clove Creek in Greene County, and in Oliv­erea of Ulster County! What makes this bee so spe­cial is that it plays a cru­cial role in pol­li­nat­ing our native plants, pro­vid­ing a fight­ing chance for our native plant species to stand up against inva­sive plant species.

A zoomed-in focus of Augochloropsis metallica sightings!  Note:  Stony Clove Creek & Oliverea!

A zoomed-in focus of Augochlorop­sis metal­lica sight­ings! Note: Stony Clove Creek & Oliverea!

If you want to try and see the emer­ald metal­lica bee, make sure to plant native plants in and around your yard!

To pur­chase your plants locally, the Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict will be hold­ing their annual Bare Root Seedling Sale in April! Orders must be placed by Fri­day, March 30th using this order form, with pick-up dates being held on Wednes­day April 18th at Ulster County Fair­grounds in New Paltz and Fri­day April 20th at Ulster County Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works in Kingston. If you miss the dead­line, left-over sin­gle stem stock is usu­ally avail­able for walk-up pur­chase at the two loca­tions listed above.

Happy plant­ing, and thank you for sup­port­ing the bees!

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Stream Explorers, Register Now!

Posted on: March 19th, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Stream Explor­ers of the Ashokan Water­shed, Grades 3 through 7, are invited to take part in this year’s Stream Explor­ers Youth Adven­ture on Sat­ur­day, April 14th! The Youth Adven­ture will run from 8:30am to 4:30pm at the Ashokan Cen­ter in Olive­bridge, NY. Stream Explor­ers can expect to enjoy a fun-filled, action-packed day in the out­doors learn­ing about how streams work, inves­ti­gat­ing stream ecosys­tems, and learn­ing to use sci­ence tools to assess stream health! A hearty lunch, as well as morn­ing and after­noon snacks will be provided.

The Early­bird reg­is­tra­tion dead­line has ended, but reg­u­lar reg­is­tra­tion is still available.

Space is lim­ited, so don’t delay!

Reg­is­ter by April 6th here and check out our brochure for more information!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week — Water Chestnut

Posted on: March 2nd, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Wel­come to the final day of National Inva­sive Species Week! Thank you all for stick­ing with us. We hope you’ve learned a great deal and will con­tinue efforts in pre­serv­ing our native species! Last, but not least, we look at the aquatic inva­sive Water Chestnut.

Water Chest­nut is native to Eura­sia and Africa, intro­duced to the U.S. in the mid-1800’s as an orna­men­tal plant. It is found in fresh­wa­ter lakes and slow-moving streams and rivers. First notice in Sco­tia, NY, Water Chest­nut occurs in 43 coun­ties across New York State.

Inden­ti­fi­ca­tion

Water Chest­nut is an annual plant with float­ing triangluarly-shaped leaves con­tain­ing saw-toothed edges. The sub­merged, hol­low air-filled stems grow 12 to 15 feet in length that anchor them­selves in the soil. Four-petaled, white flow­ers bloom in June, with fruits con­tain­ing 4-inch spines with barbs. Seeds within the fruits remain viable up to 12 years. The fruits are key in spread­ing Water Chest­nut, as they detach from the stem and float to another area. The barbs aid in attach­ing the fruit to recre­ational water­crafts and fish­ing equipment.

Leaf system of Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Leaf sys­tem of Water Chest­nut.
photo cour­tesy of North­east Aquatic Nui­sance Species Panel

Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Water Chest­nut.
photo cour­tesy of North­east Aquatic Nui­sance Species Panel

Fruit of the Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of NYS Parks Boat Stewards

Fruit of the Water Chest­nut.
photo cour­tesy of NYS Parks Boat Stewards

So what’s the prob­lem?

Water Chest­nuts con­tain dense root mats that make water recre­ation extremely dif­fi­cult to get through. These dense mats also shade out native plants, which pro­vide food and shel­ter to native  fish, birds, and insects. When the dense mats decom­pose, the chem­i­cal processes involved decrease the amount of dis­solved oxy­gen in the water, poten­tially suf­fo­cat­ing fish and plant species. The fruits of the Water Chest­nut are often found along the shore­line and bot­tom of water­ways, mak­ing the barbs of the fruits extremely painful if stepped on.

What can be done?

A vari­ety of meth­ods in con­trol­ling Water Chest­nut include man­ual, mechan­i­cal, and chem­i­cal meth­ods. Early detec­tion is the best way to con­trol and even erad­i­cate this inva­sive aquatic plant, keep­ing costs and eco­log­i­cal impacts low. Hand-pulling is often done to smaller infected areas, though, when a site is too large, har­vest­ing machines can also be used. Chem­i­cal treat­ments should be done by NYS DEC pro­fes­sion­als only.

As a local com­mu­nity mem­ber, make sure to Clean, Drain, and Dry your water­craft and equip­ment before and after each use. Be sure to dump your bait bucket water where it came from or on land.

If you think you have found Water Chest­nut, take a look at the Water Chest­nut Fact Sheet. If con­firmed, the NYS DEC asks you take many pho­tos and sub­mit a report to iMap­In­va­sives. Please share this infor­ma­tion with others!


For more infor­ma­tion regard­ing local infes­ta­tions of Water Chest­nut, check out the Eso­pus Creek Con­ser­vancy here. Thank you again for tak­ing time to explore inva­sive species with us dur­ing National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week! Check back soon for more updates from the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Program!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week — Didymo (Rock Snot)

Posted on: March 1st, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Day 4 of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week is ded­i­cated to Rock Snot!

What is it?

Didy­mos­pher­nia gem­i­nata a.k.a. Didymo a.k.a. Rock Snot, is an aquatic, inva­sive, micro­scopic diatoma­ceous algae that pro­duces high vol­umes of stalk mate­r­ial, which is why you may see thick mats on stream bot­toms. It is often brown, tan, or white, with the appear­ance and tex­ture of wet wool that does not fall apart easily.

Didymo in the Esopus Creek. photo courtesy of NYIS

Didymo in the Eso­pus Creek.
photo cour­tesy of NYIS

How does this impact streams?

Because Didymo grows on the bot­tom of streams and still waters, and forms thick mats of mate­r­ial, it can last for months, despite occur­ring through­out some fast mov­ing streams. When Didymo grows, or blooms, it cov­ers entire stream beds, cov­er­ing over native organ­isms, and restrict­ing the avail­abil­ity of food for native fish species. It spreads quickly and eas­ily due to water recre­ation activ­i­ties. Fish­ing, kayaking/canoeing, tub­ing, and boat­ing allows the micro­scopic algea to attach onto your boots, waders, and boats, and if not cleaned off prop­erly, it will spread to the next body of water you go to. Cur­rently, there are no con­trol meth­ods avail­able to stop the spread and erad­i­cate Didymo.

Make it stop!

NYS DEC urges the pub­lic to use the “Inspect, Clean and Dry” method to decrease the spread of inva­sive species. If for any rea­son you can’t get your equip­ment clean and dry, restrict your equip­ment to a sin­gle water body.

Density Observations of Rock Snot. map courtesy of NYIS

Den­sity Obser­va­tions of Rock Snot.
map cour­tesy of NYIS


**Atten­tion Felt-Sole Waders! We encour­age you to con­sider other alter­na­tives, such as rub­ber stud­ded boots. Because felt-soles absorb Didymo cells and remain absorbent for long peri­ods of time, the spread of Didymo can increase rapidly if spe­cial treat­ments are not conducted.

Check back tomor­row for our final day of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week — Emerald Ash Borer

Posted on: February 28th, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Happy Wednes­day! On this third day of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week, we’re tak­ing a closer look at the Emer­ald Ash Borer (EAB).

Accord­ing to the NYS DEC, The EAB is a bee­tle from Asia that was first found in Michi­gan in 2002. Sadly, the EAB infests and even­tu­ally kills North Amer­i­can Ash tree species, mak­ing every native Ash tree sus­cep­ti­ble to infestation.

Let’s get a closer look!

The EAB is very small, mea­sur­ing, at most, 0.5 inches long and 0.125 inches wide. The adults have a shim­mer­ing emer­ald green body with a cop­per or pur­ple abdomen on it’s under­side. You’ll often see these pests from May through Sep­tem­ber, but their prime activ­ity months are June and July. If you pass by an Ash tree, you will most likely see D-shaped exit holes in the branches and trunk of trees. Other signs of infec­tion include the yel­low­ing and brown­ing of tree leaves and less tree canopy present. Within 2 to 4 years, the Ash trees will suc­cumb to the EAB infestation.

ID the Emerald Ash Borer. photo courtesy of NYIS

ID the Emer­ald Ash Borer.
photo cour­tesy of NYIS

Emerald Ash Borer Larva inside an Ash tree. photo courtesy of Emerald Ash Borer Information Network

Emer­ald Ash Borer Larva inside an Ash tree.
photo cour­tesy of Emer­ald Ash Borer Infor­ma­tion Network

Emerald Ash Borer Damage to an Ash tree. photo courtesy of Woodworking Network

Emer­ald Ash Borer Dam­age to an Ash tree.
photo cour­tesy of Wood­work­ing Network

The EAB is found through­out the East­ern to Cen­tral United States and East­ern Canada. In New York, the first infes­ta­tion of EAB was sighted in Cat­ta­rau­gus County in 2009. It then spread to the Hud­son River Val­ley, and con­tin­ued on to more than 30 coun­ties. Infes­ta­tions were most recently found in Franklin and St. Lawrence Coun­ties in 2017.

Map of Emerald Ash Borer Locations. courtesy of NYS DEC

Map of Emer­ald Ash Borer Loca­tions.
cour­tesy of NYS DEC

 What can you do?

Review this EAB Early Detec­tion Brochure. If you believe you have an Emer­ald Ash Borer infes­ta­tion and are out­side of the known infes­ta­tion areas, call the Depart­ment of For­est Health Infor­ma­tion line (1–866-640‑0652).


 

Keep up with us this week in honor of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week and check back tomor­row to learn about a dif­fer­ent Inva­sive Species!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2018 — Japanese Knotweed

Posted on: February 26th, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Feb­ru­ary 26th marks the begin­ning of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week! Through­out this week, until March 2nd, we will be explor­ing dif­fer­ent inva­sive species present within our water­shed. To start off this week, we must first ask our­selves, “What is an inva­sive species?”. An inva­sive species is a species that is non-native to an ecosys­tem and has the poten­tial to cause envi­ron­men­tal harm to an area. Inva­sive species often out-compete native species, giv­ing native species lit­tle chance for sur­vival; this includes both ter­res­trial and aquatic plants and animals.

Japanese Knotweed within the Watershed

Japan­ese Knotweed within the Watershed

The first inva­sive species we’ll look at is Japan­ese Knotweed. This mon­ster of a plant came to the U.S. as an orna­men­tal plant in the 1800’s from East­ern Asia. Knotweed is iden­ti­fied by its large heart-shaped leaves, hol­low bamboo-like stalks, and clus­ters of white or cream col­ored flow­ers. It is often found near streams or rivers and it can with­stand low-light, high tem­per­a­tures, drought, and poor soil qual­ity, mak­ing this inva­sive resilient to many dif­fer­ent types of envi­ron­ments. Knotweed can grow up to 15 feet tall, with deep rhi­zomes (roots) extend­ing into the ground, mak­ing it very dif­fi­cult and timely to eradicate.

Photo of Japanese Knotweed leaves & flowers courtesy of http://www.nyis.info

Photo of Japan­ese Knotweed leaves & flow­ers cour­tesy of http://www.nyis.info

Col­lab­o­ra­tion and coor­di­na­tion from as many peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions as pos­si­ble is the best way to tackle Japan­ese Knotweed. In order to con­trol it, one must be dili­gent. The Catskill Regional Inva­sive Species Part­ner­ship (CRISP) rec­om­mends con­tin­u­ous man­ual removal of Knotweed approx­i­mately 2–3 times each year for at least 3 years, or until it is erad­i­cated. Accord­ing to New York Inva­sive Species Infor­ma­tion (NYIS), mow­ing or cut­ting of Japan­ese Knotweed will actu­ally spread the plant, rather than con­tain it. For those who would like to use her­bi­cides on large vol­umes of Knotweed, call your local CCE or Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict office to get more infor­ma­tion on chem­i­cal reg­u­la­tions and safety pre­cau­tions in your region.

 

Videos regard­ing Inva­sive Species in New York State:

Pre­vent the Spread of Inva­sive Species

Get to Know Inva­sive Plants

 

Fol­low us this week as we uncover more inva­sive species in our Ashokan Water­shed! Face­bookTwit­terInsta­gram

 

 

 

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AWSMP Tries Out the W.A.V.E.

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Samantha Kahl

The impor­tance of water qual­ity has always been a top pri­or­ity for water­shed res­i­dents and the stream man­age­ment pro­gram as it works with com­mu­ni­ties to man­age streams. So how do we mea­sure the effects of stream man­age­ment on water qual­ity? One method is macroin­ver­te­brate sam­pling. Macroin­ver­te­brates are insects present within our streams that are vis­i­ble to the naked eye: Stone­flies, Mayflies, and Cad­dis­flies, just to name a few!

Recently, AWSMP staff mem­bers Saman­tha Kahl with Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster County, and Alli­son Lent, Stream Assess­ment Coor­di­na­tor, and Tiffany Runge, Water­shed Tech­ni­cian with Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (SWCD) got out­side to mon­i­tor aquatic insects and do the WAVE! Actu­ally, it’s W.A.V.E. — Water Assess­ments by Vol­un­teer Eval­u­a­tors. This pro­gram is run by the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (DEC). Vol­un­teers are trained to take macroin­ver­te­brate sam­ples from streams for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion at the DEC office. This prac­tice helps deter­mine stream seg­ments that are poten­tially impaired (e.g. pol­luted or dis­turbed). Macroin­ver­te­brates are sen­si­tive to water qual­ity, so if pollution-tolerant species are present and oth­ers are not, we may have an impaired stream seg­ment that needs fur­ther mon­i­tor­ing. If a vari­ety of sen­si­tive species are abun­dant, it’s usu­ally a good indi­ca­tor for high water quality.

Case-making Caddisfly larva found attached to a rock in a segment of Woodland Creek.

Case-making Cad­dis­fly larva found attached to a rock in a seg­ment of Wood­land Val­ley Creek.

Our pur­pose of going into the field was to get a sense of the water qual­ity at a poten­tial Wood­land Val­ley Creek restora­tion site. Know­ing the water con­di­tions prior to restora­tion pro­vides a bet­ter sense of how restora­tion efforts affect the stream, allow­ing project man­agers to mit­i­gate future restora­tion projects if need be. Our pur­pose also included test­ing out W.A.V.E. pro­gram sam­pling meth­ods. The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram is inter­ested in start­ing a W.A.V.E. pro­gram for local com­mu­ni­ties to take part in. Feel free to fill out this short sur­vey regard­ing your avail­abil­ity for a poten­tial W.A.V.E. pro­gram start-up; any feed­back is appre­ci­ated! And don’t for­get to check back soon for more event and vol­un­teer infor­ma­tion at our web­site.

Tiffany Runge, Watershed Technician (left), and Allison Lent, Stream Assessment Coordinator (right), of the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District sorting through leaf litter for macroinvertebrate sampling on the banks of Woodland Creek.

Ulster County SWCD’s Tiffany Runge (left) and Alli­son Lent (right) sort through leaf lit­ter look­ing for macroin­ver­te­brates on the banks of Wood­land Val­ley Creek.

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