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UW-F Aquatic Plant Managemen Postion Statement

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  • UW-F Aquatic Plant Managemen Postion Statement

    UNITED WATERFOWLERS -FL AQUATIC PLANT MANAGEMENT POSITION

    UW-F supports the management of aquatic plants to maintain open water canals and recreation areas, navigation and vegetation free areas around boat ramps, water control structures, docks and marinas.

    UW-F supports aggressive removal of floating aquatic plants such as water lettuce and water hyacinth and the invasive torpedo grass. These plants are best controlled with early treatment before the 'clumps" become so large as to require large quantities of chemicals.

    UW-F supports the removal of cattail and willow monocultures that have destroyed once healthy marshes by any possible means. including chemical, mechanical or fire.

    UW-F does not support the chemical spraying of submerged vegetation except in the cases outlined in the first paragraph above. This includes both natural submerged vegetation and hydrilla. Submerged vegetation is beneficial to water quality and wildlife. Natural submerged vegetation is preferred. However, experience has shown that once hydrilla is present, continuing efforts to remove hydrilla do not result in the return of a required biomass of natural plants. Hydrilla invariably returns. Unfortunately, during the period following the poisoning of hydrilla, the water becomes more turbid, phosphorous levels increase and the aquatic animals and waterfowl suffer the loss of crucial habitat.

    UW-F appreciates the difficult task assigned those who must control aquatic vegetation in Florida. UW-F believes the objectives can be achieved without unacceptable damage to the ecosystem and wildlife. UW-F recommends a minimum area of thirty percent in submerged vegetation with appropriate biomass concentrations be maintained in all systems. UW-F recommends programs by all agencies to remove cattail and willow monocultures in all systems and the restoration of healthy marshes.
    N. Cook
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