Photo Friday: Hydrilla Hunting


The hydrilla, an invasive aquatic plant, has an alarming growth rate clearly illustrated in the photographs above. The photos were captured by the Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership (NIIPP), an organization that helps prevent and manage plant invasions, and show massive growth of hydrilla in a mere 18 days. Hydrilla grows up to an inch per day and forms dense mats of vegetation at the water’s surface, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Early detection can be key in controlling the plant, before it poses a threat to native plants and wildlife, recreational fishing and boating and waterfront property values. NIIPP is seeking volunteers for a Hydrilla Hunt, a program that encourages Illinois residents to learn how to identify hydrilla and keep a lookout for the plant at local lakes, ponds and rivers.


Little Things, Big Problems: Invasive plants in our parks

Last year, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative began producing a series of educational videos about invasive species in the Great Lakes for the National Park Service. New videos have been uploaded this spring and summer, and you can watch the entire “Little Things, Big Problems” series here on Echo. This video discusses how invasive plants can be harmful to the native vegetation in Great Lakes parks.

Dam removals that expose former bottomlands like this channel of the Boardman River near Traverse City, Mich., create  prime real estate for invasive plants. Photo: Frank Dituri, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Plant wars kick in when dams come out

Dam removal in the Great Lakes region exposes nutrient-rich bottomlands.

That creates prime real estate for invasive plants.

Restoration solutions include poisoning the invaders with pesticides and spreading native plant seeds to revegetate the bottomlands.