Tim Mak, 17, a Jr. Commissioner with Keep Islip Clean,...

Tim Mak, 17, a Jr. Commissioner with Keep Islip Clean, pulls Iris, an invasive species, from the pond at the Seatuck Environmental Association in Islip, May 26, 2022. Credit: Johnny Milano/JOHNNY MILANO

Long Island will receive more than 10% of nearly $3 million in grants issued across the state to reduce the negative impacts of invasive species of plants and pests in its communities, waterways, fields and forests, state officials announced Wednesday.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that $2.9 million in funds would be distributed through 43 projects statewide, including six on Long Island totaling nearly $343,000, as part of the State Department of Environmental Conservation's Invasive Species Grant Program. 

The program provides funding for prevention, early detection, rapid response, research, education, planning and outreach to address aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. Common invasive species in New York include the Asian long-horned beetle, spotted lanternfly, zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil.

“We are committed to protecting New York's waterways, forest lands, and agricultural crops from dangerous invasive species,” Hochul said. “This funding supports projects across the state that will help prevent the spread of invasive species in New York, protecting our natural resources, economy and public health from the negative impacts of this threat.”

On Long Island, all six projects are in Suffolk County.

The projects with money for early detection/rapid response and control include:

  • $98,518 to the Seatuck Environmental Association of Islip
  • $93,622 to the Peconic Land Trust of Southampton
  • $65,470 to the Caumsett Foundation of Lloyd Harbor
  • $36,285 to the Landcraft Garden Foundation of Mattituck
  • $25,000 to the Town of Brookhaven and $24,000 to the Town of Southampton for lake management, planning and implementation.

Long Island's haul ranked third among the state's 10 regions, behind the Mid Hudson region, which received more than $600,000 in grant funding and the upstate North Country, which got just over $400,000.

In addition, four projects in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan combined to receive nearly $225,000 for invasive species early detection/rapid response and control.

Last summer, both Nassau and Suffolk counties saw a massive influx of spotted lanternfly, the invasive, voracious insect that can destroy certain trees and grapevines, but is harmless to people and pets. In addition, invasive species of plants and trees, such as bamboo, cause harm to local ecosystems. 

“There is no single action that can address the threats invasive pests pose to New York’s environment,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Simultaneous investments in researching control methods, actively managing invasive populations, addressing pathways for spread, and educating the public about invasive species, are essential for mitigation efforts.”


 

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