NYS Seal




Invasive Species and Pathogens


To assess the environmental and economic impacts of invasive species and pathogens in New York

Monday, September 17, 2007, 11:00 a.m.
Clayton Opera House
403 Riverside Drive
Clayton, New York

Invasive species and pathogens pose significant threats to ecosystems throughout New York State, and cost the State, municipalities and businesses millions of dollars each year. Invasive species are non-native species whose economic or environmental harm outweigh any benefits. Since the 1800s over 180 aquatic invasive species have been discovered in the Great Lakes alone, out-competing native species and diminishing biological diversity. Invasive species have a detrimental effect upon the State's fresh and tidal wetlands, water bodies and waterways, forests, meadows and grasslands, and, in some cases, change entire ecosystems. Particularly affected by invasive species are water supplies, agriculture and recreation.

One known source of aquatic invasive species is the ballast water of ships, which can also be contaminated with harmful bacteria and viruses. Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS), which causes large fish kills, was first detected in New York State last year. VHS has now been found in 19 species of fish and has spread through Lakes Erie and Ontario, the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers and into the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

In addition to providing $5 million from the Environmental Protection Fund in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2007-08, the Assembly worked with the Senate on legislation which passed both houses. This bill (A.9027-A, Sweeney) would establish the Invasive Species Council and an advisory board within the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to develop a comprehensive plan for invasive species management. DEC would be responsible for implementing an invasive species program focused on implementing the recommendations of the former Invasive Species Task Force and the new Council, and would report to the Legislature with recommendations for future legislative action.

The purpose of this hearing is to solicit information to assess the environmental and economic impacts of invasive species and pathogens in New York and to help direct the next steps that the State can take to manage and control invasive species and pathogens.

Oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only and limited to 10 minutes duration. 15 copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Written testimony will also be accepted and may be sent to the contact person listed on the reply form. In order to further publicize the hearing, please inform interested parties of the Committee's interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Robert K. Sweeney, Member of Assembly
Chairman, Committee on Environmental Conservation

Darrel J. Aubertine, Member of Assembly
Chairman, Legislative Commission on State and Local Relations


Persons invited to present testimony at the public hearing on Invasive Species and Pathogens to be held on September 17, 2007 or who wish to submit written testimony, are requested to complete and return this reply form by September 10, 2007 by mail or fax to:

Alex Roth
Principal Legislative Analyst
New York State Assembly
Program & Counsel Staff
Capitol/ Room 520
Albany, NY 12248
e-mail: rotha@assembly.state.ny.us
(518) 455-4363
fax (518) 455-5182

(It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.)

box I plan to attend the public hearing on September 17, 2007 concerning Invasive Species and Pathogens to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation and Legislative Commission on State and Local Relations.

box I have been invited to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 15 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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