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Managing Invasive Water Chestnut: A Team Effort

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Water Chestnuts are the major invasive aquatic plant problem in our rivers. Initially brought over to America as an ornamental plant, the species has ended up spreading like crazy and the Nashua River is suffering the consequences. The plants form dense mats on the water’s surface, obstructing boat movement and disrupting recreational activities. They also block sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants. When water chestnuts die in masses they affect oxygen levels, in turn hurting fish populations. Water chestnuts are a nuisance affecting overall ecosystems and their management requires significant resources. The Nashua River Watershed Association is working to address the invasion of water chestnuts through a combination of control measures.

View “NRWA Water Chestnut Pull: Volunteers in Action” (3.14 min) produced by Max McCormick of NorthPoint Productions for more insight on this invasive and what it means to conduct a hand pull. 

This summer, the Association has assembled a team of four amazing summer staff, Don Reilly, Bob Lewis, Parker Suscavage, and Shayna Legros who have been removing the chestnuts along shorelines and in back coves. Additionally, since 2019, the Town of Pepperell has applied to a MA Department of Conservation and Recreation Partnership Matching Funds Program to have the water chestnuts treated. This treatment, as well as our summer staff, have made a tremendous difference.We are immensely grateful for the efforts of our dedicated team working to eliminate the stubborn water chestnuts during this hot, humid summer. 
Volunteers have also helped to manage this issue. Recently, Bristol Myers Squibb employees volunteered their time to help pull. The removal of these invasive plants is crucial for the health of the river and contributions make a significant difference. Your hard work and commitment to preserving the river’s ecosystem does not go unnoticed. Thank you for being an integral part of the association's mission to protect and restore the Nashua River.

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