LYME — A very large patch of invasive European water chestnut was discovered last week in a remote location in Whalebone Cove in Lyme that can only be reached by canoe or kayak at high tide.
On Sunday, Aug. 15, the Friends of Whalebone Cove (FOWC) are organizing a ‘Paddle & Pull’ volunteer work party to remove the water chestnut starting at 3:30 p.m. Anyone who has a kayak, canoe or boat is welcome to join the work party. Bring a water bottle, life jacket/PFD and sun block.
The Paddle & Pull will last about two hours. Meet at the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry Boat Launch (east shore), Ferry Rd. (Rte. 148), Lyme, CT 06371.
In the past several years, FOWC has managed to control the spread of European water chestnut in Whalebone Cove and seeks to prevent it from becoming established, because if that should happen, it will change the Cove’s ecology and destroy its natural habitat eco-systems on which species that live in the area rely to survive.
This invasive creates a canopy on the water surface that crowds out native plants and destroys habitat for turtles, fish, birds and other animals. It decreases the oxygen in the water that fish need to survive. Its rosettes cover entire coves and ponds impeding fishing, hunting, swimming and boating, while also killing native plants that birds and marine wildlife need for survival.
Once established, European water chestnut is difficult to control. It can, however, be eradicated and prevented from spreading by removing plants before they have a chance to drop their seeds, which usually starts in late August.
This type of water chestnut has invaded and taken over many other locations in the Connecticut River.
There will be additional “paddle & pull” work parties scheduled later in the summer.