FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2013
Contact: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4746
Tom Plante, 908-527-4746



Union County to Host Free Training Workshop
on Removal of Aquatic Invasive Plants, March 8

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – A free workshop about identification and removal of emergent aquatic invasive plants will be held on Friday, March 8, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Union County Engineering Building located at 2325 South Avenue in Scotch Plains. The program is sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, in partnership with the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team (NJISST) and the New Jersey Watershed Ambassador Program, through AmeriCorps and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Melissa Almendinger, executive director of NJISST, will present the two-hour training program. Attendees will be taught to identify target aquatic species, collect and report data to NJISST’s database, and remove specific types of aquatic invasive plants.

“This training will make participants more aware of some of the invasive plants appearing in Union County’s park system and what they can do to help prevent them from spreading,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter.

An invasive species is a non-native organism that causes harm to the environment, human health or the economy. They interrupt the natural functions of an ecosystem by impacting native plants and animals. Overall, invasive species place a tremendous burden on natural resources and are considered to be the greatest threat to global biodiversity, second only to outright habitat destruction.

Invasive aquatic plants spread quickly and discourage the growth of native plants, vastly affecting our ecosystems. NJISST uses the method of Early Detection and Rapid Response to find and destroy new populations of invasive plants, animals and pathogens before they become widespread and cause significant ecological damage.

Registration for the free training workshop is limited and required. Contact Matthew Popin at watershed7@ucnj.org or call 908-789-3209. For more information visit www.njisst.org. For information about how to participate in Union County’s Adopt-A-Park or Trail Program, visit www.ucnj.org.

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For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release. Please join the County of Union online at www.ucnj.org, on Facebook at www.ucnj.org/facebook, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/countyofunionnj .