Invasive Species
1:31 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Environment Committee Holds Informational Forum on Aquatic Invasive Plants

Don Les of UConn speaks before the Environment Committee.
Don Les of UConn speaks before the Environment Committee.
Credit CT-N

The Environment Committee of the state legislature held an informational meeting on Tuesday about aquatic invasive species. 

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection notes a number of non-native plants and animals that cause problems for native species, such as zebra mussels, rusty crayfish, and an aggressive perennial called hydrilla.

The problem with invasive species, according to DEEP, is both economic and ecological. Native fish populations can be harder to harvest when non-native plants cluster in dense mats on waterways. Damaged piers and boats from encrusted zebra mussels can be expensive to fix. Native plant and animal populations are sometimes crowded out when invasive species take advantage of available natural resources.

During its meeting, the Environment Committee heard about some of these problems as well as potential solutions. Don Les, a professor at the University of Connecticut, and an expert on aquatic flowering plants, shared remarks. The committee also heard from the Connecticut Invasive Plants Council.