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

January 11, 2012

Draft 2012 Aquatic Plant Management Plan available for public review, comment

The public is invited to review and provide comments on the Draft 2012 South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Plan through the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Comments and suggestions should be submitted in writing or email and received by Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. No telephone comments will be considered.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in conjunction with the S.C. Aquatic Plant Management Council is responsible for the management of nuisance aquatic plants in the state's public waters. Each year the DNR and the Council prepare an Aquatic Plant Management Plan that identifies aquatic weed problem areas, prescribes management strategies, and determines funding requirements. 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 cost have remained relatively constant due to innovative, integrated control measures.

Part 2 of the Draft 2012 Aquatic Plant Management Plan identifies 31 public water bodies, 16 state park lakes, and 10 DNR state lakes with aquatic weed problems and prescribes management strategies for each problem area. The location of these sites ranges from the coastal plains through the midlands and up into the piedmont. Cost share strategies involve local funding with limited matching funds from DNR. Major focus areas continue to be on habitat enhancement, public education, and early detection and rapid response for invasive species problems throughout the state.

All comments should be received in writing or by email by the closing date to ensure that they are given proper consideration in the final plan. No telephone messages will be considered. Anyone interested in providing input should contact Chris Page at the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, 2730 Fish Hatchery Road, West Columbia, SC 29172, or e-mail invasiveweeds@dnr.sc.gov. Comments on additional areas of problematic aquatic vegetation on the state's public lakes and waterways should be addressed and sent to the previously mentioned contacts.

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