Volunteers work to make creek more resilient against invasive species

Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 2:52 PM EDT
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TOWN OF ELLISBURG, New York (WWNY) - We hear a lot about invasive plant species choking local waterways and taking over land. There’s a group working to help one of those areas bounce back from the damage caused by those species.

Volunteers are trying to make South Sandy Creek more resilient by increasing biodiversity. They’re part of the St. Lawrence-Eastern Lake Ontario (SLELO) Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management.

The first thing is the control or removal of invasive species. Then the volunteers plant native species.

“Now that we have been working through the treatments, we are in the process of restoring the native biodiversity at this site,” said Brittney Rogers, SLELO PRISM aquatic restoration.

In just a few days, the team introduced 6,000 plants, including 25 different native species to the region.

“We are hoping to increase species richness and biodiversity to help create a more resilient ecosystem, to help guard against further invasive species,” said Rogers.

Some of the invasive species in South Sandy Creek include the Japanese knotweed and goutweed. Those with SLELO say it’s important to restore community-loved places.

“This is actually a really popular boat launch. I’ve been seeing people coming in and out all day, paddling enjoying the area, so it is really important to protect this area so we can do the things we love,” said Megan Pistolese-Shaw, SLELO PRISM coordinator.