Monday, May 26, 2003

Take this with a grain of salt

Residents near Capitol Lake in Washington that are squeamish about using herbicides to control the invasive aquatic plant Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) have thrown their support behind a plan to flood the lake with saltwater instead. According to this story from The Olympian, a flood gate would be opened at high tide, allowing salt water from Budd Inlet to flow in. At first glance, saltwater seems like a safe alternative to the herbicide fluridone, at least for humans. But consider that while fluridone has been said to have minimal impact on non-target species, the influx of inlet saltwater will affect much of the flora and fauna in the lake, can lower available oxygen in the water, and can raise nutrient levels, causing additional problems including algal blooms.

Thanks to a member of the ALIENS-L listserver for posting a link to this story.

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