Invasive Species: The Foreign Threat, a Talk by James Rubino

Philipstown Garden Club’s marsh intern presents at Desmond-Fish 

James Rubino, right, with Constitution Marsh Land Steward Dave Decker. Photo courtesy of Philipstown Garden Club

James Rubino, the Philipstown Garden Club’s 2012 summer intern at Constitution Marsh, will be giving a presentation at the Desmond-Fish Library at 2 p.m. on Oct. 28 in the Program Room. Rubino is taking contemporary issues in a science program at Haldane and has incorporated the work at the marsh into this class. The highlight is the eel project and includes invasive-species work as well.

The major theme is a broad explanation of invasive species, with specific examples at Constitution Marsh. Rubino hopes it can be developed into a tool that could be used at the marsh for educational purposes.

The mission at Constitution Marsh Sanctuary is to provide stewardship to the fragile wetland and to teach others about it. But with a 2011 Innovation Grant, the center is partnering with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to research and monitor American eels, which are on the decline. Born in the Atlantic near Puerto Rico, they migrate up East Coast rivers and mature for up to 25 years before returning to the sea to spawn.

Rubino, under the supervision of Constitution Marsh’s Land Steward, Dave Decker, has been conducting an eel census and habitat surveys and the impact that natural and manmade barriers have had on the eel population. He also learned about the impact that the invasive rusty crayfish population is having on the native spiny cheek crayfish species.

Rubino has been involved with an educational project that few of his peers get to experience. He will be there along with Eric Lind, director of Constitution Marsh. Refreshments will be served, and the program is open to the public and free of charge.

The Philipstown Garden Club Internship Program is open to entering high school juniors and seniors and college freshmen interested in horticulture and/or the environment. Other nonprofit partners are Clearwater, Glynwood, Manitoga and Stonecrop. For more information visit

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