“It hasn’t gone away yet, so we’re starting even earlier this year to attack the European Water Chestnut that’s invading our waterways,” said Audubon Nature Center president Ruth Lundin. “We simply must control this infestation to keep it from spreading to other lakes and waterways in the region, including Conewango Creek and Chautauqua Lake.”
Lundin announced that Brandon McElrath is leading the fight against this invasive species that began three summers ago.
A Bemus Point resident, McElrath is a recent graduate of Champlain College with a degree in Environmental Policy. As the pulls start on June 1, volunteers are needed right away, and McElrath is looking for all the help he can get.
Equipment is needed as well, specifically the donation or loan of both kayaks and chest waders.
Water Chestnut floats on the water with a single root to the bottom. If left alone, plants grow to cover an entire water body so densely that nothing can easily navigate through them, reducing the light to the bottom and significantly impacting populations of other plants and animals in the pond.
Much of the Nature Center’s 600-acre wetland preserve is covered by a series of ponds, so there is plenty of opportunity for the Water Chestnut to take root.
To volunteer, get answers to your questions, or learn more, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org and click on “Water Chestnut.”
Service clubs, church groups, Scouts, families and individuals are invited to choose times when they can volunteer. Individuals who can bring kayaks, canoes, or chest waders should mention this when signing up.