Spread of Hydrilla: Ithaca Mayor declares existence of an emergency

The inaction of state agencies regarding the spread of Hydrilla has led Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson to declare the existence of an emergency.

Under the emergency declaration, Mayor Peterson will take action without the whole of the Common Council.

Mayor Peterson says, In light of the urgent nature of this situation, and the threats posed by this Hydrilla infestation to the City TMs economy, the natural environment and the health, safety and quality of life of its inhabitants, I am hereby declaring the existence of an environmental emergency in the City of Ithaca.

Mayor Peterson also made a request to the Tompkins County Sheriff to close the Inlet until further notice so that affected areas can be treated.

Mayor Peterson says that the current Hydrilla infestation has spread to infect over 95 acres. Once established, the plant multiplies very quickly. An uncontrolled infestation of Hydrilla could lead to blooms of blue green algae and possible health and safety implications for humans.

The City of Ithaca Superintendent of Public Works William J. Gray previously made orders in attempts to keep Hydrilla from spreading from the affected Creeks and Cayuga Inlet into other areas of the Inlet such as Cayuga Lake and the Flood Control Channel.

Mayor Peterson says she anticipates the need for other decisions to be made to protect the local waterways.