The Department of Environmental Conservation has released a statement that a very invasive aquatic species has been found in Upstate New York. Heard of Hydrilla?

According to the DEC, the species can cause quite a fair bit of harm to the water it inhabits. But what exactly is this terror in the water, and can it harm you? On the latter part of that question, the answer is not necessarily. Unless you ingest it, it doesn't seem to be harmful to humans. But you could be a reason for the spread of the plant and all by accident.

The way it spreads is like pollen but in the water. It is a very easily broken plant, which makes it hard to contain says InformNNY. So if say you swim around it, very simply it could break and begin to spread. They also say it takes not even an inch of the plant to actually begin to spread.

The DEC says the harmful plant has been found in a North Towanda Marina. That would be located in the Buffalo area of New York. The plant Hydrilla is a plant in the water thyme family, and actually resembles the fresh herb quite a bit. It also goes by the name Florida Elodea and Indian Star-Vine according to a government website. Originating in Asia, the pesky species of plant has been in the United States since the 1950s.

What makes the plant so harmful is what it does to the ecosystem. Hydrilla becomes very dense on river beds and on the bottom of lakes. That density makes it difficult for many good species of water plants to actually survive. As the North Towanda Marina is close to the Niagra River, the DEC fears the plant spreading to that body of water which could make containment incredibly tricky.

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