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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