This week I traveled to the New Hampshire coast to attend the Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society’s (APMS) Annual Meeting. A variety of individuals from private industry, state government, academia, and non-profits were present, all with the common interest of furthering the field of aquatic resource management. The conference began with an aquatic plant identification workshop with bins of the most common to some pretty unique native plants, as well as invasive plants and included a quiz to test your knowledge. This was a great opportunity to refresh identification skills during the off season.
The conference had a diverse array of talks ranging from ecosystem and human health effects of algal toxins, management of Hydrilla verticillata in waterbodies with various stakeholder groups, sensitivity of different plant species to a brand new, soon to be registered aquatic herbicide, the potential of copper to control starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa), and much more.
The NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservtion’s Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator spoke on the great strides our state has taken in preventing the spread and establishment of AIS resulting from legislation such as the Prohibited and Regulated Species List, updates to the Navigation Laws requiring AIS signage at public boat launches, and most recently, Part 576 requiring users of any waterbody to clean, drain, and dry (or treat) their boat before launching into public waters. She highlighted the success and future expansion of boat stewarding programs across the state (including in the CapMo PRISM) and the role of the PRISMS in early detection and management work statewide.
The conference was all around informative and provided a great opportunity to network with other regional professionals. Though the New England lighthouses and ocean views will be missed, I have brought back new ideas and perspectives for the 2018 season in the CapMo.
-Leah Gorman, CapMo PRISM Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator