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Water Chestnut Infestation

Posted on Sep 1, 2015

Last week while I was traveling to Connecticut and Rhode Island (I’ll be posting about this soon!), I had the opportunity to get a good look at the Hudson River in eastern New York and see first hand the water chestnut infestation that has taken over much of the waterway. 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, its 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 it’s 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 plant to have around. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to see our local waterways look like this! 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. Let’s stop this invader from floating any further!

Water Chestnut-Hudson River

Elyse Henshaw
Conservation Technician