Monday, November 17, 2014

Irrational, Anti Chemical Fears Drive Bad Press in "Ecological Crime"/ Aquatic Herbicide Case

Why not follow up our post from a few weeks ago with yet another example of the irrational fears of herbicide use, this time in an aquatic setting.  Around the same time as our blog posting, "The Responsibility of PFPs.....", we saw yet another case of the general public and their intense fear of things that they don't necessarily understand.  Treatment of nuisance aquatic plant species in Buckley Dunton Reservoir in Becket, MA have lead to claims of an "ecological crime" which led to the "sterilization of life" in said Reservoir.  The Berkshire Eagle brought us the breaking news on October 10th...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Regulatory Update: EPA News and Pesticide Update

It's been a while since we've had a regulatory update!  For those who are interested, see below some of the latest from the EPA:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Responsibilities of PFPs (Pesticide Fearing People) and the Pesticide Industry

"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand".  This popular quote from Leonardo Da Vinci is almost always the first thing that pops into my head when I see an article such as that which came across the Star Press last Friday.  The title reads simply "BSU cancels herbicide spraying at Burris" but reading on, the quote from above continues to reveal it's truth, over... and over... and over.  Before we get to deep, a little background for the reader first.  Ball State University is in Muncie, IN.  The "Burris" Laboratory discussed in the article is a part of their Teacher's College which serves  K-12th grade students and University teaching majors who use the laboratory to learn teaching skills.  We all caught up now?  Well let us proceed....

In short, a petition brought forth by the parents of students attending Ball State has led to the cancellation of weed management activities on the University's campus.  This is the second year in which weed management has come under pressure, as last year's activities were briefly halted until the outgoing university president deemed the management activities safe.  This year, however, weed management activities at Burris caused the parents of those attending BSU (remember, not the majority of which even spend time at Burris) to file petition, stopping any further activities.  As a result, University personnel now cite a severe weed problem that is affecting the aesthetic value of the campus, not to mention attracting numerous stinging insects.....

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Plant Profile - ALGAE!!!

Its almost not fair to this group of plants to try and lump them all into one post, but we are going to try anyway!  Algae are quite possible the most diverse and widespread of our aquatic plants being found in salt, brackish, and freshwaters worldwide. Although considered "simple" in their cellular structure (made up of only one cell!), algae are some of the most important organisms on this entire planet!  Did you know that algae provide the base of MANY aquatic (and even terrestrial) food chains supporting organisms all the way up the chain, even whales!  If thats not enough, algae produce between 40-50% of the oxygen that we breathe through the simple energy making plant process of photosynthesis!  Becoming a little more accepting of the algae group now aren't we?!?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Management Minute - Six Steps to Developing A Management Plan

Aquatic invasive plants can be a MAJOR headache for resource managers, homeowners, recreational users, government officials, and many others. So YOU'VE got invasive or nuisance aquatic plants in your lake, pond, river, bath tub, etc..... what next?  The nature of the problem might lead one to believe that there might be a universal, one sized fits all approach to management of aquatic plants.... but that couldn't be further from the truth.   Read on and we'll tell you the appropriate steps to tackle some of the toughest jobs in aquatic plant management.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Events Update - August through December 2014

Happy Monday Everyone!  Its time for another Events Update:  Conferences, symposiums, workshops, and the like are a way for us all to network, share our research or products, as well as learn a thing or two along the way.  These meetings foster professional relationships, collaboration, and strengthen our science as a whole.  Check out our blog on "Conference Season" to learn more of why you should consider attending a professional meeting, workshop, etc.  We hope you'll take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about various aspects of the aquatic sciences..... both near and far!  Click "Find out more" to get more information about each.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A look at "Back from the Brink" - Hard Science or Lopsided Observation?

Photo Credit:  NCSU AWCP
In recent weeks, a story of tragedy followed by triumph has circulated among aquatic scientists, the media, and the general public.  "Back from the Brink - How Lake Ellwood, Once Doomed Is Being Rescued", although written as a blog posting, has found its way into various social outlets, professional discussions, and even into mainstream media.  Let’s be honest, with a title as strong as this, how could anyone shy away from reading?  The two words "doomed" and "rescued" alone insight a primal need in all of us to find out what wrong is being done, and who exactly the hero is that saved the day?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Industry Update - Summer 2014

Every so often we bring you updates from our industry.  Check out some of the things that are going on across the nation!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Management Minute - Research continues to investigate the "growing" problem in Santee Cooper System

Photo Credit - NCSU AWCP
We often talk of the usual suspects in our blog postings here on the AERF update. Hydrilla, EWM, and Water Hyacinth are but a few species with which many of us in aquatic plant management have become quite familiar. Another not-as-well-known invader is taking over many waterways in the Southeastern United States leaving behind it clogged waterways and much lost both economically and ecologically speaking. Like many invaders before it, this plant, native to asia, gained a foothold in Florida in the early 1990s and was likely introduced as a water garden plant.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

"Plant" Profile - Lyngbya

We are definitely working our way into the heat of summer here at AERF.  Those in the business of aquatic plant management as well as those who just enjoy the water, often deal with the usual invasive culprits like Hydrilla, Eurasian Water Milfoil, and Water hyacinth during the time of year. Another invader, however, might not be as well-known, especially by those of us who recreate this time of year.  Our plant profile this week isn't really even a plant at all, but rather a cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).  This blue-green usually rears it's ugly head in the heat of summer and can have even more severe impacts than its well known invasive plant counterparts.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Plant Profile - Phragmites

Invasive plant species can become a "giant" problem for resource managers.  One true "giant", as far as invasive wetland and aquatic plants go, can be found on EVERY continent except Antarctica and is found highly invasive throughout North America.  This particular plant has two native varieties which occur in various parts of the United States, however a very similar invader variety from Europe can be found throughout much of the same territory and cause a variety of problems.  Its scientific name alone means "southern plant with fence-like growth"....

Friday, May 23, 2014

"Treatment" Season - Aquatic Herbicide Application Do's and Don'ts

Photo Credit - UF - IFAS
Here we are heading into the last week of May.  Those short, bitter cold days of winter are but a distant memory.  Many of us are currently thinking of nothing more than what to do over Memorial Day Weekend.  However, those of us in the business of Aquatic Plant Management are gearing up (or have potentially already even started) our 2014 nuisance aquatic plant treatment schedules.  While to many another year of applications may seem routine, a recent article on our Facebook page made us here at AERF think of those "worst case scenario" situations when people get comfortable in their jobs.  So today, we bring you an important look back at 10 Do's and 10 Dont's of Pesticide Use.  Be safe and have a wonderful weekend!    

Friday, May 9, 2014

Industry Update: EPA News, Pesticide Update, New Publication on AIS

Happy Friday everyone! We leave you this week with the latest in industry news and happenings.  If you have news you would like featured in our Industry Update, please email to bmhartis@ncsu,edu.  Stay tuned next week for more of the latest in aquatic plant management, science, and innovation!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Management Minute: The GRASS Carp

Photo credit:  Michigan State University Extension
Happy Thursday all and welcome to our management minute!  With the warming of spring, you are likely noticing the "greening" of just about everything around you.  Flowers blooming, birds chirping, and love in the air (along with eye swelling pollen...).  These are just a few things you might be seeing with the changing of the seasons.  All of this "new life" isn't designated solely to those things which we love..... Invasive aquatic plants are likely on the increase as well, warranting many to start thinking about management.  This week, we will discuss one of many options for managing some types of aquatic plants:  The Grass Carp.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Feature Focus Friday - Zombie Coots and Dead Bald Eagles, UGA's Wilde Lab Investigates

Happy Friday All!  Its time for another Feature Focus Friday!  This week we leave you with deadly disease, zombie birds, and invasive plants!.... Seem Interesting?  Well then read ahead to learn more!
Sick Coot.  Photo Credit:  UGA Wilde Lab

Friday, April 18, 2014

Plant Profile - Eurasian Watermilfoil

Another "whirlwind" week for us here at AERF attending conferences, trainings, etc.  A few weeks ago we introduced our "Plant Profile" portion of the Blog.  This week we leave you with a Plant Profile of "whirl"wind of a plant, Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM).  This extremely problematic submersed species began it's spread in the United States during the 1940s and hasn't slowed down since.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Regulatory Update: More from EPA

To keep you up to date on the latest in regulatory news, changes, and information we bring you industry and regulatory updates.  Today we bring you the latest stories from EPA and associated programs.  For more information on each story, click "read more" after each story.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Conference Season" - The value of attending a professional conference in the aquatic sciences

2015 NEAPMS Conference.  Photo Credit: Gideon Putnam Resort
The professional or academic conference is seen by many as a burden to our busy schedules.  Time that can be used to finish up a manuscript, work in the field, writing a proposal, or increasing your client list, may seem much more important than hours of endless presentations, mediocre continental breakfasts, and workshops.  There is however, much more to look forward to with these meetings than the occasional cash bar and free food.  For most of us in the aquatics industry, the winter and early spring time seems to be the time for such events .  While water temps (and plant growth) are at their lowest, the winter months are a time to take advantage of a number of aquatics conferences around the country.  For today, lets discuss the FIVE main reasons for you to register, grab a name tag, and attend a conference near you!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Plant Profile - Hydrilla

It sure has been a busy week for us here at AERF!  As a result, our blog has been rather quiet, however we hope to leave you with something special for the weekend.  Often you will see us reference different plants in our facebook, twitter, and blog postings.  You may, more often than not, find yourself scratching your head as to what exact plant we are actually talking about.  To give our readers a little more background into the plants we so often discuss, we bring you the AERF Update's "Plant Profile" section.

A single hydrilla plant.  Photo Credit:  NCSU
It only seems appropriate that we have our first "Plant Profile" feature one of the the most prevalent and problematic aquatic invasive plant species in the world!  Hydrilla (H. verticillata) is by far one of the most well known submersed invasive plant species which can have both deleterious environmental and economic effects.  For starters, let’s talk about how exactly Hydrilla found it's way into United States and what makes it such a problem for our nations water bodies.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

AERF Spotlight - The State of Minnesota

MN DNR inspector and K-9
Photo Credit:  MN DNR
Happy Tuesday everyone!  In our AERF Spotlight, we often feature individuals who have made or are making great contributions in aquatic plant science, management, or legislation.  This week we are widening our spotlight to include the entire State of Minnesota!  When it comes to invasive species, the state known as the "North Star State" is truly "leading" the rest of the nation. Minnesota has some of the toughest laws on the books and most importantly, they enforce them!  In other words, don't even try to bring invasive species into Minnesota's woods or waters!