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RTPI – Meet Your Neighbours: Water Chestnut

When most people hear of water chestnut, they often think of the slices of white vegetables in your stir fry mix or chicken noodle soup. While that is indeed water chestnut, it’s not the kind that we are necessarily concerned about. Water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic plant native to Western Europe, Africa and northeast Asia that was brought to the United States in the late 1800’s. Since its introduction, it has caused nothing but trouble clogging many streams, lakes and ponds, choking out native aquatic life and costing millions of dollars in removal efforts. While it appears to be green and pretty like most other plants, it is certainly not a good green thing to have around. We don’t know about you, but we certainly don’t want to see this in our local waterways! Each of us can do our part by supporting local water chestnut pulls and being vigilant for this plant on Chautauqua Lake and other water bodies within the region. Together we can stop this invader from floating any further!

The ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ global biodiversity project is a worldwide photographic initiative dedicated to reconnecting people with the wildlife on their own doorsteps (wherever on the planet this doorstep happens to be) – and enriching their lives in the process. The animals and plants found in our immediate vicinity are vital to people: they represent the first, and for some, the only contact with wild nature we have.