Connecticut River Conservancy has been working with municipalities, nonprofit groups, government agencies, businesses, boaters and individuals to address the threat of hydrilla. A group of stakeholders has collaboratively written a 5 Year Management Plan to be updated on an annual basis with appropriate modifications. To learn more about the collaboration around hydrilla, watch this short documentary. An Executive Summary of the 12-Town Environmental Review Team Report conducted by Connecticut Resource Conservation & Development can be found here.
In 2021, CRC received funding to pilot the installation of benthic barriers to suppress hydrilla growth, and work with experts to understand various treatment options. In partnership with CAES, CRC drafted a report on the success and challenges of using benthic barriers and what managers should consider when weighing this option. Read the full report here.
In 2022, CRC will explore the viability of mechanical harvesting of hydrilla to understand if this may be a suitable management technique. We are also pursuing funding to test hand-removal techniques paired with the planting of native aquatic vegetation. Finally, CRC continues to develop a community based social marketing strategy to engage boaters in the “clean, drain and dry” practice to prevent the spread of hydrilla.
Ultimately, controlling hydrilla in the Connecticut River will be a multimillion-dollar project which will require not only treatment, but outreach and education to all those who recreate on the Connecticut River. Finally, CRC is working with state and federal legislators to advocate for funding and comprehensive management of hydrilla.