Seward has helped fight invasive plant
As stated by Paul H. Lord in the Aug. 2 Daily Star, the invasive aquatic plant Hydrilla is a problem unlike anything we have experienced in upstate New York. If allowed to grow unchecked it will choke the Cayuga Inlet in Ithaca, and eventually spread throughout the region, even to Otsego County. It will decimate boating, fishing and tourism.
What Paul Lord might not have known is that we can thank our senator, James Seward, for his help in securing $800,000 in the budget to assist the Cayuga Lake Watershed Hydrilla Task Force in our efforts to eradicate this pest before it moves to other Finger Lakes, the Great Lakes and other water bodies. The state funding is a critical piece and, when combined with other state and federal dollars, the Task Force now feels it has the necessary resources to wage the battle short-term.
Sen. Seward and his colleagues in the state Senate recognized the importance of adequate resources and understood the detriment to local tourism and economies if this plant went unchecked. Sen. Seward joined forces with senators representing portions of Tompkins County, Sens. Tom O'Mara and Michael Nozzolio. They acted quickly and decisively to secure this state funding in the budget.
The Task Force now has a high degree of confidence that the spread of Hydrilla can be stopped and eventually eradicated so it doesn't threaten Otsego County.
A large part of that confidence comes due to the support from Sen. Seward and his colleagues. However, we need a sustained effort. We know we have an advocate in Sen. Seward, and everyone in the region should thank him for his efforts and support. We certainly do here in Tompkins County.
Schutt is the district manager of Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District in Ithaca.