The Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (WNY PRISM) was formed in 2014 to combat the spread of both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species and mitigate associated threats by providing coordination for invasive species monitoring and management in the eight western-most counties of New York. Our mission is to proactively identify, evaluate and address invasive species priorities in Western New York using a coordinated partnership of local professionals, organizations, and community members to improve, restore, and protect aquatic and terrestrial resources. We host state and regional meetings, workshops, and extensive education and outreach. By fostering regional collaboration, we lessen the impact of invasive species, and preserve the natural resources and beauty of Western New York.
WNY PRISM identifies, maps, and develops management plans to control aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. The office hires seasonal crew members each summer to aid in its management and restoration efforts, in addition to employing a full-time Coordinator and Project Managers. Additional seasonal staff include Watercraft Inspection Stewards. The office coordinates management activities and public outreach efforts among a wide diversity of partners in the region, including NGOs, state and federal agencies, and academic institutions. WNY PRISM is a sponsored program through the Research Foundation at Buffalo State University and is hosted by the Great Lakes Center.
Please contact Andrea Locke, WNY PRISM Coordinator for more information and to see how you may become involved. Follow the events and activities at the official WNY PRISM website.
The PRISM mission is to protect New York from the harm caused by invasive species. The eight PRISMs located throughout the state provide leadership, coordination, and information for their regions and are involved in all aspects of invasive species management. They need your help! Partners and volunteers are essential for success, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Funding for PRISM is provided by the Environmental Protection Fund through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
The WNY PRISM Crew Assistance Program is at the core of WNY PRISM’s invasive species removal and habitat management efforts. Every summer, 3 Invasive Species Management Assistants are hired and trained to assist partners on priority invasive species projects including surveys, removal and habitat restoration efforts. Partners may request assistance from WNY PRISM through a proposal process that focuses on established criteria and regional priorities. Previous projects include invasive shrub removal within the Niagara River Gorge, native plant restoration at Tifft Nature Preserve, knotweed removal at Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park, and invasive species surveys at Bergen Swamp and the Audubon Community Nature Center.
Slender false brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) is an invasive species of grass that has recently established within the WNY PRISM region and Great Lakes Basin. This species has demonstrated the ability to establish quickly and form dense populations, to the near complete exclusion of native species, making it a top priority. The Great Lakes Slender False Brome Working Group was created to improve the understanding and management of B. sylvaticum by bringing together a dedicated group of partners and stakeholders. Work includes species surveys, development of best management practices, implementation of removal projects and regional outreach. The Great Lakes Slender False Brome Working Group is part of WNY PRISM’s broader Early Detection/Rapid Response Program. (Photo credit: WNY PRISM)
Our Watercraft Inspection Stewardship Program began in 2018 with 2 Boat Stewards. In 2019, we expanded this number to 20 and have a presence at 22 regional launches. Boat stewards perform voluntary watercraft inspections to remove visible aquatic plants and animals from all types of watercraft at boat launches. This helps prevent the transport and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) both into and out of western New York. These programs are voluntary, and boaters do not have to participate if they choose not to. The inspections are easy and conducted quickly to ensure the boater does not miss much time enjoying the water.
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