DEC regulations seek to prevent spread of invasive species

Aug 29, 2014

New regulations from the State Department of Environmental Conservation are out this week, aimed at protecting natural resources. The regulations identify more than 100 invasive plant and animal species that have the potential to harm New York’s environment and ways to prevent their release.

State Assemblyman Sean Ryan says one example of such species that Western New Yorkers are most familiar with is the zebra mussel. He says the zebra mussel had more than just an environmental effect in the Great Lakes and across the state.

Asian carp is one invasive species causing headaches for the state's environment and its economy.
Credit File photo

"The secondary effect is they became attached to the intakes at power stations throughout New York State and right now we're spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year just to clean up after the zebra mussel," Ryan said Thursday.

Ryan says the state currently spends about $15 million a year trying to undo the release of these species and the damage they cause.

The Buffalo Democrat says one of the big fears now for the Great Lakes is the invasion of the asian carp. He says if it gets into the Great Lakes, where it has no natural predator, it has the potential to take over the ecosystem.

Ryan says he is hopeful that the regulations will prevent the release of invasive species into the environment before their cleanup becomes a burden on the taxpayers.