Focus 2015

Partners Prepare for Productive Season



Collaboration is a great thing, especially when it comes to managing invasive species for the purpose of protecting our regions natural areas, biological diversity and eco-nomic assets. Our tag line is “Teaming up to stop the spread of invasive species” and that’s exactly what the SLELO PRISM partners will focus on during 2015.

By working together throughout the five county Eastern Lake Ontario region, our partners anticipate a robust season focused on meeting our PRISM’s seven strategic goals; prevention, early detection/rapid response, cooperation, information management, control, restoration and education/outreach. Many activities will take place on a PRISM-wide scale, other activities will focus on our PRISM’s priority conservation areas. Partners will also be working on independent projects targeted towards invasive species management along with tentative special projects sponsored by the PRISM. Combined, these efforts offer a collaborative approach targeting invasive species prevention, management and habitat restoration.

Our Education & Outreach Committee is getting an early start by scheduling the following events which are open to the public;

May 20 – iMap Invasives software & IPMDAT training workshop & Partner Meeting. CCE Watertown, NY. Contact Jennifer Dean at: details and registration.

June 10 – Eastern Lake Ontario Invasive Species Symposium. Co-sponsored by Selkirk Shores State Park and Douglaston Salmon Run. Contact Shelby Alavekios at: for details and registration information TBA.

July 11 – Port Ontario Citizen Science Event.  Co-sponsored by our partners at the Oswego County Soil & Water Conservation District. Contact Shelby Alavekios at: for details.



Strategic Accomplishments


Partners of the SLELO PRISM continue to make progress towards the objectives and goals of our Strategic Plan. By working collaboratively we achieved the following in 2014:

Autumn Oak

  Our partners continued efforts to restore the Salmon River and Salmon River Estuary by suppressing 86% of Japanese Knotweed populations and began restoration work by planting native grasses within the disturbed areas along the river corridor.

Our partners have significantly reduced the human health threats posed by Giant Hogweed by treating 61 sites and completely eradicating 14 sites.

We continued to restore over 50 acres of globally rare Alvar communities along the Eastern Lake Ontario coastline by suppressing Pale Swallow-wort and promoting native succession.

We have teamed up to protect our freshwater resources, wetlands and fens by supporting hands-on citizen science based control efforts, pathway mitigation and environmental DNA sampling. This includes hand-harvesting of 85.5 cubic yards of water chestnut plants and treating an additional 215 acres on the Oswego River.

Encouraged the development of biological controls for Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) and Pale Swallow-wort (Cynanchum rossicum).

Assisted with the release of a biological control (Galarucella spp.) to suppress purple loosestrife and maintain the native plant composition of the Lakeview Wetland complex.

 Together we have completed early detection surveillance on ten priority conservation areas along with one rapid response to pale swallow-wort on the Limerick Cedars preserve.

 Through a collaborative effort we reached over 550 individuals through a combination of educational and outreach initiatives targeted at invasive species that affect our forests, lands and waters.

 Nice Work Partners!



Land Disturbance & Terrestrial Invasive Species

 back hoe 1

On my daily drive to and from work I have often noticed a relatively small patch of Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) in the southeast corner of a nearby intersection. My previous disregard stems only from the fact that this small patch does not lay within one of our PRISM’s identified priority conservation areas (PCA’s).

In a more recent drive by of this same site, I noticed a small bulldozer clearing, or should I say grading the land. The topsoil, about 20 cubic yards was being staged along the south end of the lot and being that the entire site was covered with knotweed, certainly the topsoil was full of seeds and cuspidatum propagules.

After pondering the demise of the topsoil throughout the workday, I toyed with the idea of stopping after work to inquire as to what plans they had for the topsoil, after all topsoil is a sought after commodity. Too late, all the equipment and topsoil were nowhere to be seen.

Often overlooked in our discussions of invasive species pathways and mitigation is the idea of land clearing and infrastructure development, even on a small scale, and the translocation of topsoil contaminated with invasive plant fragments and/or seeds. I assume that the aforementioned “spoil” was used elsewhere to fill a need.

Let’s extrapolate using another species known for its high seed production (pale Swallow-wort (Cynanchum rossicum). At 2,000 seeds per square yard multiplied against an average 550 cubic yards per acre of topsoil, that suggests 1,100,000.00 seeds translocated per acre of contaminated topsoil.

In cooperation with our Canadian friends of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, the SLELO PRISM Education & Outreach Committee will soon be pursuing a clean equipment protocol initiative that educates heavy equipment operators and will hopefully serve to identify contaminated topsoil and its translocation as a significant pathway for the spread of terrestrial invasive species. Identifying the need to manage contaminated topsoil is a good beginning, but must be followed with best management practice recommendations along with incentives to implement such practices.

The PRISM partners are confident that this initiative will serve to educate developers, engineers and heavy equipment operators on the need to better manage this pathway.

Rob Williams, PRISM Coordinator



Salmon River Initiative


The Salmon River, located along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, is a valuable cultural and natural resource worthy of protection from the habitat-altering impacts of invasive species. As a cultural resource, the Salmon River is a multi-million dollar fishery hosting in excess of 100,000 angler visitors annually. Angling enthusiasts travel from numerous regions across the United States and Canada, as well as from throughout the world, to fish the river. Many local businesses thrive as a result of this cultural resource. The Salmon River is also an integral part of Lake Ontario ecosystem linking it directly to the overall Great Lakes whole system. Unfortunately, the increasing dominance of Japanese knotweed, an aggressive invasive plant present within the Salmon River corridor, has the potential to negatively impact the economic and ecological values of the Salmon River and Salmon River Estuary.

Partners of the SLELO-PRISM have endorsed a strategic initiative to restore and protect the estuary and river which involves three components to include; 1) Suppression of Japanese Knotweed over the course of a minimum of three years using a stem injection technique as the primary control strategy. 2) Native plant restoration, which includes promoting natural regrowth and intentional plantings and 3) Education and outreach to occur as an on-going and important project component. Partners are confident that this project will benefit the natural processes and the ecological integrity of this magnificent resource.

Anglers and Conservationists – please help!

1. Learn to identify the Japanese Knotweed plant – (refer to the “Species in the SLELO Region” menu item on this website – top of page)

2. Don’t walk through, trample, cut or otherwise disturb knotweed patches—this plant spreads primarily by germinating plant fragments, you will only spread the seeds and plant fragments which will worsen the problem.

Thank you!

  Background on SLELO

Invasive species pose a serious ecological and economic threat in the St. Lawrence – Eastern Lake Ontario region of New York and indeed the entire state.

The St. Lawrence – Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership For Regional Invasive Species Management (SLELO PRISM) was formed in 2005 to combat the spread of invasives and mitigate associated threats. Our overall mission is to protect the natural and cultural integrity of aquatic and terrestrial areas in Jefferson, Oswego, Oneida, St. Lawrence, and Lewis counties from invasive species. Formally recognized by the state in 2011, our PRISM has made tremendous progress towards the prevention of new species and the management of existing species within the PRISM.

SLELO provides region-wide coordination for invasive species monitoring and management across the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems within our 7,600-square mile PRISM region.


SLELO partners promote prevention, early detection and rapid response of invasive species through development and dissemination of educational materials and programs, documentation of species distributions, promotion of integrated habitat management strategies, and builds consensus for resource protection through partnerships with residents, institutions and agencies. Hosted by the Central Western NY Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the SLELO PRISM has and continues to make significant progress towards invasive species management by utilizing the support and expertise of our partners.

  1. From early detection to rapid response and education, SLELO shares several goals with our PRISM partners.
  2. To focus immediate priorities, we have targeted several invasive species.
  3. We engage in several Projects & Activities throughout the SLELO region.

Invasive Species Program Coordinaator Rob Williams, has engaged and rallied the SLELO partnership in a strong and focussed way, one which will certainly help our PRISM to achieve our goals and objectives.