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Friday, December 22, 2006

Volunteering to be in muck & cold water

High Spring Herald
Water lettuce, an invasive species in the Ichetucknee River, is picked out manually each week by dedicated volunteers with the goal of maintaining the water lettuce by 2010.

The plants can cover vast areas of rivers with dense packs of water lettuce that prevent sunlight from reaching plants and animals below the water’s surface and consume much of the oxygen in the water.

The plants also can inhibit boats and rafts from going down a river, and that affects the tourism industry. Water lettuce becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which deters tourists from visiting as well.

Each month, Ichetucknee Springs State Park hosts clean-ups with 50 to 75 people. The upcoming dates are Dec. 16, Jan. 20, Feb. 17, March 17, April 21, May 19 and June 9.
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