August 15th has come and gone and the DEC’s proposed hydrilla treatment on the Croton River has still not happened. The village has promised to issue the DEC a permit for the treatment under the conditions that they move the treatment site further from the aquifer that supplies drinking water to NYC. The DEC is pushing back and request
ing they keep the treatment at the original location, ensuring the village that the herbicide will not effect the water supply.
Whether or not they move the location of the treatment, I suspect the DEC will go through with the use of the herbicide on the river.
I ran into a scientist from the Cornell Cooperative Extension at Senesqua Park who was looking for hydrilla in the Hudson River (which he found). We talked about the DEC project and while he was not worried about the herbicide harming wildlife other than the hydrilla, he suspected that it wouldn’t affect the hydrilla at all.
He explained that since the herbicide is not heavier than water, it will not go below the surface to where the hydrilla grows; it will just float on top and be diluted, making it completely ineffective as it heads downstream to the Hudson.
Confusingly, a 2015 report from the Cornell Cooperative Extension suggested endothall as a superior treatment for the Croton River; so, it’s unclear if the Cornell opinion has changed in the past year or if this specific scientist I met just has some conflicting ideas.
Hopefully the treatment won’t be as hopelessly ineffective as this man suggested and will help curb the rapid growth of the invasive weed. If the DEC’s plan does fail in this way, then what is the DEC doing attempting this treatment? Shouldn’t they have done the proper research already and, at this point, be confident that the herbicide will do what its supposed to?
I head back to Ohio for school in only five days and will be far from the hydrilla on the Hudson, but will keep tabs on the DEC’s fight on the Croton River.