NYS Canal Corporation Vegetation Management Explained

The Canal Corporation has implemented a comprehensive. Education and Community Outreach program to inform and educate the local communities in advance of the Vegetation. Management Program.

Read their VM Outreach Presentation here.


Why does Vegetation need to be managed on Canal embankments? Watch this video.

The Canal Corporation has stated that according to the US Army Corp of Engineers Guidelines for Vegetation ManagementETL 1110-2-583  April 2014 Vegetation on earthen water impounding structures must be controlled:

  •  Allow proper inspection, surveillance, and monitoring of all structures and adjacent areas for seepage, cracking, sinkholes, settlement, displacement, and other signs of distress.
  • Allow access for normal and emergency Operations and Maintenance (O&M) activities.
  • Prevent root-related damage to structures, such as shortened seepage paths through embankments and/or foundations; voids in embankments and/or foundations due to decayed roots or fallen trees; clogged seepage collector systems; and expansion of cracks or joints in concrete walls, spillway floors, and canal linings.
  •  Limit habitat characteristics that encourage animals burrowing.

Appropriate Ground Cover in the Vegetation-Free Zone.

a. The only acceptable vegetative ground cover in the vegetation-free zone shall be perennial grasses. Their primary function shall be to reliably protect against erosion. They shall be maintained as necessary to ensure the health and vigor of the primary species providing erosion protection.

Preference should be given to the use of native species. Invasive or weed species shall not be acceptable. The species selected must be able to tolerate mowing to heights as low as 3 in. as follows: at least once each year for inspection, and in anticipation of flood conditions and associated monitoring and flood-fighting activities.

Currently, the areas from Bushnell's Basin to Fairport are infested with Oriental Bittersweet Vines, and these make the tree canopy top heavy and are prone to toppling the trees in high winds.

Here's a video prepared by the Canal Corporation for Perinton Residents explaining why their embankments are even more susceptible to embankment issues.


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