We are collaborating with New York State to manage an infestation of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), an aquatic plant from Asia that was recently found in New Croton Reservoir and downstream in the Croton River.
Hydrilla is a uniquely disruptive plant because it can grow in practically all conditions, harm a wide range of natural resources and obstruct the operation of drinking water infrastructure. The weed grows in dense mats that can exacerbate the growth of algae, block out native species, harm fisheries by consuming dissolved oxygen, and interfere with areas that are traditionally used for recreation. At other reservoirs and canals in the United States, hydrilla has also clogged water intakes or hampered the flow of water through critical infrastructure. If left unchecked in New Croton Reservoir, hydrilla has the potential to spread throughout the region and affect other waterbodies.
DEP worked with the Water Research Foundation to assemble an expert panel that reviewed plans to manage the infestation in New Croton Reservoir. Based on the panel’s advice, DEP is piloting a program to remove this plant from the reservoir and solidify a control strategy that will expand to the entire infestation in the reservoir in the years ahead.
Five facts about hydrilla:
- It grows where no other plants can grow
- It can spread by fragments, tubers and seed-like winter buds
- Its giant mats block boats, intakes, and even fish
- Boaters should avoid passing through it to keep it from spreading
- Anglers should clean gear thoroughly to keep it out of new waterbodies
If you spot hydrilla anywhere else, please report it to 1-800-575-LAND or use our Invasive Species Report Form.
More Hydrilla Information