Tuesday, May 22, 2012

State DEEP setting traps in Connecticut for invasive emerald ash borer

Richie Rathsack

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, along with The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System, will be placing 590 detection traps throughout the state to monitor the presence of the invasive emerald ash borer. With the ash borer recently found about 25 miles from the Connecticut border, along the western edge of Dutchess County New York, this year’s detection effort will be expanded. ...

Monitoring of the Connecticut traps will be led by the UConn extension system in cooperation with the agriculture experiment station, DEEP Forestry and State Parks personnel, the state Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many landowners, wood product businesses and municipalities also agreed to host a detection trap again this summer, according to the DEEP. ...

The DEEP is asking Connecticut residents to report possible borer infestations to the agriculture experiment station or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine. Early detection is the best defense against further infestation, according to the DEEP. Residents suspecting they have seen borers should report their findings to the agriculture experiment station at (203) 974-8474 or CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov (digital photos of suspect insects and damage on the trees are very helpful). Residents can also report sightings to the department of agriculture via its website at www.beetledetectives.com. A new forest pest educational video may also be viewed at CAES: Videos.

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Freeport fights green crab invasion

By Kelley Bouchard
Staff Writer
The Portland Press Herald

FREEPORT, MAINE - There's an army of green crabs hunkered down in the channels of the Harraseeket River and Recompence Cove, and every night they skitter up onto the mud flats to feast on whatever shellfish they can find.

They've munched their way through most of the wild mussels, scallops and snails along the town's 27-mile coast, and now they're working on wiping out one of Maine's prime soft-shell clam populations.

To combat this small but destructive creature, the Freeport Shellfish Commission is launching the first municipal shellfish conservation program in Maine. Its goal is to reduce predators, protect and enhance existing shellfish beds and diversify the bivalve species growing in nearly 180 acres of mud flats, more than half of which are currently unproductive.

Local clammers hope to save and expand a natural resource that supports 45 families in Freeport and entice other coastal communities that face similar devastation to join the fight. ...

The number of green crabs in Maine waters has spiked in recent years as fin-fish stocks have declined, reducing the number of predators that might keep the crab population in check, according to Coffin and other clammers. Warmer coastal water temperatures and a lack of winter ice along the shore also promoted green crab growth.

The shellfish conservation program also will include advanced water quality testing to determine the DNA of fecal coliform and help environmental officials figure out the source of pollution, such as failed septic systems or farm runoff.

Nets will be used to keep crabs out of productive clam flats, which range from Bowman Island to Flying Point, Coffin said. Traps will be used to catch crabs in shallow waters and remove them to a local landfill, where they will be composted.

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