Bait buckets. Canals. Boat bottoms. Firewood. Boots. Packaging.
The ways that invasive species get into the Adirondacks are countless. The damage they then cause is too.
This year, the Explorer looked at several major invaders and the damage they did. We looked at how the Champlain Canal, once a vital commercial link, is a mainline for aquatic invasive species. We warned about and then reported on new invasions of emerald ash borers and hemlock woolly adelgid, two invasive bugs that could wipe out swaths of the forest. The wooly adelgid had been spotted once before in the Adirondacks, but the ash borers were found this year for the first time.
One success is the boat inspection program at Lake George, which kept going despite the pandemic. Without such careful monitoring across the Adirondacks, invaders may keep finding their way inside the park. — Ry Rivard