DEC treatment of Croton River invasive species successful

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CROTON-ON-HUDSON – The State Department of Environmental Conservation has completed its long-term treatment of the aquatic invasive plant Hydrilla verticillate in the Croton River in Westchester County.

Hydrilla, which is federally listed and state prohibited, was first discovered in the Croton River in 2013. As the result of an intensive DEC control project, no hydrilla has now been found in the river.

The Croton River is a large and direct tributary to the Hudson River. It is a recreational fishery, destination for swimming and paddling, and the source of drinking water for the Village of Croton.

Hydrilla is a federally listed noxious weed and a prohibited plant under state invasive species regulations. It can rapidly spread and form dense mats of vegetation that impact access to the river and displace native plants and animals that would typically use the river for food and shelter.

Decomposition of hydrilla biomass can also impact drinking water quality.

Beginning in 2017, the project used aquatic herbicide to treat and control hydrilla. Prior to treatment, hydrilla was found at 190 of 446 aquatic plant survey points in the Croton River.

In 2022, no hydrilla was found at any of the same 446 survey points.

DEC invested more than $3.5 million from the State Environmental Protection Fund for the multi-year project.