Saturday, October 02, 2010

Central Florida Residents Fighting Invasive Plants

Central Florida lakefront homeowners are seeing nuisance invading plants like hydrilla taking over. Past years' drought and wintertime temperatures have reduced the amount of native tropical aquatics allowing non-native species to grow abundantly clogging up canals and shorelines. Local city and county departments are helping homeowners clean up their lakes.

"We've seen a very strong rebound of the exotics [plants] that we've had at a very low level in the past," said Ron Novy, Orange's program manager of lake management. "It seems to be not just isolated incidents, but usually you see a pattern of heavy growth in one lake."

The issue concerns enough residents living near lakes in Orange each year that the county set up specific taxing districts to tackle the problem. Once residents approach the county about vegetation issues, they usually agree to pay an extra fee ranging from $25 to $150 annually on their tax bills that's similar to a garbage pickup fee, Novy said. The fees — the amount is based on the size of the plant problem or its complexity — are set aside to have county workers clean up the plants that have filled the lakes.
Read more.

Lake County Aquatic Plant Management
Orange County Lake Management
Osceola Aquatic Plant Management information
Seminole County Lake Management
Florida Aquatic Plant Management Regional Offices

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