More than 200 acres of the lower third of the Connecticut River is overgrown with hydrilla, an invasive aquatic plant that spreads easily on the underside of boats, tangled in paddles and latched onto life-preservers.
In 2019, the plant had yet to be identified in the river.
In an effort to halt the spread, State Representative Christine Palm, D-Chester, is calling for funds to develop a statewide, coordinated management plan.
“What I realized was no one knows about it,” said Emily DeLuca, a freelance multimedia journalist and owner of Crosscourt Media who recently produced a documentary on the growing concern. “We have a boat on the river and I’d never heard of it. We’ve probably contributed to the spread in some way and didn’t even know.”
DeLuca’s documentary, currently showcased at The Connecticut River Museum, delves into the problems hydrilla poses for the tidal marshes that line the lower river and the work already underway to eradicate the plant.
“I want people to know about it, and know what they can and should do to help,” DeLuca said.
The film was commissioned by Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development and will be available at the Connecticut River Museum until Labor Day.