Monitoring Methods

  1. Get To Know the Plants
    Review your aquatic plant identification book and become familiar with different varieties of aquatic plants (both native and invasive) and their distinguishing characteristics.

  2. Know your Site
    Learn where landmarks are within your adopted waterway and practicing matching your position to the location on a map. Understanding the relationship between a field location and where that point lies on a map is key to accurately documenting the location of the invasive plants you come across.

  3. Look for Invaders
    Survey your area for the Watch Weeds outlined in your Aquatic Plant I.D. Booklet. Most new infestations will be small, so careful observation is very important in order to discover new invaders. If you find a plant that you are unable to identify, take a sample of the plant and place it in a zip lock bag with a wet paper towel and mail it to Cornell Cooperative Extension. Remember to record the location!

  4. What to do if you discover a new infestation
    If you find a few invasive plants in a new area, and you are able to, pull the entire plant out. Take care to pull from the base of the plant, including as much of the roots as possible. The plants should be discarded of land, away from the shore. If hand-pulling is not feasible, or if the discovered infestation is already of considerable size - notify Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County immediately (315) 424-9485 x230 or x233. Remember to document the location and fill out the data sheet! If you pulled the plant out, make note of it on the form.

  5. Record your visit
    Always fill out a data sheet completely. Even if no invasive plants or no new infestations are present, the information is still valuable! Depending on the size of your adopted area, one or more data sheets will need to be filled out. Large adopted areas (such as entire lakes or large portions of a waterway) can be divided into grids, and one data sheet will be completed for each grid.

  6. Send in your data sheets
    When you are finished monitoring your area, submit your data sheet by mail to:
        220 Herald Place, 2nd Floor
        Syracuse, NY 13202

W2O! is funded by the E.P.A. Great Lakes Grants Program, E.P.A. Great Lakes National Program Office, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.