News Details - State Legislators Recognized for Securing Funds to Fight Hydrilla
Tompkins County officials today recognized Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and State Senators Thomas O’Mara, James Seward, and Michael Nozzolio for their efforts in securing essential State funding to address the Hydrilla infestation in the Cayuga Lake Inlet.
The Hydrilla Task Force, which includes representatives from the City of Ithaca, Tompkins County, the Tompkins County Soil and Water District, the State Parks, and scientific experts from Cornell University and Ithaca College, have coordinated their efforts and lobbied hard to educate Albany lawmakers about the problem and push for the financial assistance needed to eradicate Hydrilla and prevent its spread.
“As a result of our combined efforts, new money has been included in the State budget to combat invasive species in response to our deep concern about this dangerous plant,” said Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson. “In addition to the original Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) budget, up to $350,000 in DEC aid to localities and up to $775,000 for DEC work on invasive species are available. The Task Force will continue to work to ensure that the full costs of efforts to eradicate Hydrilla from Cayuga Lake will be covered by these funds.”
“We cannot overstate the work done by our State representatives to understand the magnitude of the threat presented by Hydrilla, educate their colleagues, and secure meaningful resources to deal with the problem,” said County Administrator Joe Mareane. “They truly grasped the significance of the problem and convinced their colleagues and the Executive Branch that this problem cannot be ignored.
“We also thank Cornell University, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, officials in other Finger Lakes counties, and other concerned citizens from throughout the region who joined in expressing concern about Hydrilla and helped to make the case in Albany, “ Mareane continued “This has been truly a community-wide effort. We are grateful to everyone who helped.”