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Abstract

A dedicated community of individuals, agencies, and institutions collaborates to protect the Adirondack region's unique and relatively intact aquatic resources. The Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) of Paul Smith's College serves as an integral part of this community, accomplishing its mission of water resource protection through the integration of science, education and management. Working with other regional agencies and initiatives, the AWI has played a central role in aquatic invasive species spread prevention and management. This article describes the AWIs science and management outcomes and its process of integrating these two components with public education through the Watershed Stewardship Program to understand and help prevent the spread of Eurasian water-milfail in the Adirondack Park. By monitoring plant communities after management, we have confirmed that early detection of aquatic invasive species is critical for milfail control and the protection of our current ecological communities. Our laboratory research suggests that even very dry fragments of Eurasian water milfail have a small probability of being viable when re-introduced to water, underlining the need for boater education and spread prevention action on the part of watercraft users and management agencies. Ongoing research on growth rates and patterns in Eurasian water-milfail, northern water-milfail and variable-leaf milfail and their response to environmental conditions will eventually help us predict outcomes of competition among species, both native and invasive. The AWI integrates science and public education by involving our boat launch stewards in both research and aquatic invasive species field management and by incorporating research outcomes into boat inspector training and public messaging. This promotes engagement on the part of Stewards and broadly disseminates information to the public. In collaboration with other local/regional agencies who share an attachment to this 'place: we integrate science, education, and management to protect our native aquatic and human communities.

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