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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

January 19, 20162016 Aquatic Plant Management Plan available for public review, comment

The public is invited to review and provide comments on the 2016 Draft South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Plan through the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The plan is available online.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Aquatic Plant Management Council is responsible for the management of nuisance aquatic vegetation in public waters. Each year an Aquatic Plant Management Plan is developed which identifies aquatic weed problem areas, describes management objectives, prescribes management strategies, and determines funding needs and sources. Since the inception of the program in 1981 over 150,000 acres of invasive aquatic vegetation in public waters have been controlled to improve public access and use. Invasive species costs nationwide have continued to rise while South Carolina's costs have remained relatively constant due to innovative, integrated control measures.

The DNR and the Council seek public review and comment on the proposed Draft S.C. Aquatic Plant Management Plan. Comments and suggestions should be submitted to program staff by email (invasiveweeds@dnr.sc.gov) or mail (SCDNR, 2730 Fish Hatchery Road, West Columbia, SC 29170). Telephone comments will not be considered. All comments should be received in writing or by email by the closing date of Feb. 24, 2016 to ensure that they are given proper consideration in the final plan. Please, no petitions will be accepted, as this is not a voting process.

To view the current plan, go to the website mentioned above and click on the appropriate section. Part I is the Procedural Plan that provides an overview of the program and describes the planning process. Part II is the proposed Annual Management Plan that lists proposed water bodies to receive management efforts and describes in detail proposed control strategies.

This year's plan is a little different due to abnormally high lake levels and elevated turbidity caused by historic rainfall within the Santee watershed, aerial and surface aquatic plant surveys scheduled for fall of 2015 for the Santee Cooper System were postponed. At this time no scientific environmental data or plant surveys have been done to provide any current data for the assessment of this season's coverage of aquatic vegetation.


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