Florida will stop spraying weeds in lakes, for now

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will temporarily pause at statewide program to control invasive plants in the state’s waterways beginning January 28.

The move comes after more than 170,000 people signed an online petition calling for the state to ban the spraying.

“During this pause, staff will work to collect public comments regarding the FWC’s aquatic plant management program,” wrote FWC in a press release.

A WINK News investigation into the issue in September, discovered various scientific opinions on the topic of aquatic herbicide spraying and it’s potential effects on the environment.

Scott Wilson, a Central Florida pastor and fisherman, was one of the advocates leading the charge to ban the spraying.

Wilson and others said they were seeing an increase in spraying on the Kissimmee chain of lakes and believe it was leading to increased nutrients flowing into Lake Okeechobee.

FWC has defended its position on removing weeds in lakes with spraying.

FWC said in its’ press release “Some invasive aquatic plants pose a significant threat to human welfare and cause economic problems by impeding flood control and affecting recreational use of waterways.”

So far, no dates or specific times for public comment meetings have been announced.

FWC has more information about invasive plant management on its website.

Reporter:Lauren Sweeney
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