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May 22, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be treating water hyacinth and water lettuce on portions of the Manatee River May 29 through May 31. The treatment areas are located south of State Road 64 in Manatee County.

Treatment involves the spot application of the aquatic herbicide Aquastar to scattered infestations. River water within the treated area should not be used for drinking purposes. The drinking restriction does not apply to tap or well water. Treatment areas will be posted with warning signs that display treatment dates and applicable water use restrictions.

Water hyacinth is a free-floating plant from South America that was introduced to Florida in the late 1880s. It is a fast-growing plant that can double in as little as two weeks and expands rapidly in Florida waters. Water lettuce is another invasive species and is considered one of the worst weeds in the subtropical and tropical regions of the world.

If these aquatic plants are not controlled, recreational activities, navigation, flood control and fish and wildlife populations may be negatively impacted. The management of these plants on the Manatee River is a cooperative effort between the District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

For more information, please call the District at 352-796-7211 or 1-800-423-1476.

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