NY State Advises Against Closing Canal To Prevent Invasives

07/26/12 5:04PM By John Dillon

Courtesy, SUNY Plattsburgh
The spiny waterflea is native to Eurasia. Scientists are concerned that it will disrupt the food web in Lake Champlain.

Despite an urgent plea by scientists who want the Champlain Canal shut off to stop the spread of an invasive species, New York State says closing the canal is not feasible.

The Canal Corporation says it cannot halt boat traffic on the canal, which connects Lake Champlain to the Hudson River system.

But Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry says technological solutions may be available. He says boats could be hauled from one lock and moved by rail or truck to another.

"The notion of closing the canal has been discussed for some time," Berry says. "And the governor has been actively working with the congressional delegation to decide what course of action to take in the face of the threat from the spiny waterflea. We know there are other options to move vessels through that area without having that free flow of water and obviously we would look at other options."

The spiny waterflea is native to Eurasia. Scientists are concerned that it will disrupt the food web in Lake Champlain by displacing native species.

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invasive_species spiny_water_flea politics environment
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