Fort Mill Times

S.C. Aquatic Plant group to meet

The Aquatic Plant Management Council will meet 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, in Columbia to approve the Draft 2010 State Aquatic Plant Management Plan for public review and comment.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the S.C. Department of Agriculture's Ramage Conference Center, 1001 Bluff Road.

The S.C. Aquatic Plant Management Council, in conjunction with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, is responsible for the management of nuisance aquatic plants in the state's public waters. Each year the DNR and the Council prepare a statewide Aquatic Plant Management Plan that identifies aquatic weed problem areas, prescribes management strategies and determines funding needs. Public input and review is an important part of the planning process.

The agenda items planned for the Aquatic Plant Management Council's Jan. 13 meeting includes:

Recommendations of 2010 Santee Cooper/DNR cooperative meeting.

Review and approval of the Draft 2010 S.C. Aquatic Plant Management Plan for public comment.

According to a Unites States Fish and Wildlife Service sponsored Web site, the introduction of harmful, non-native species into the U.S. is increasing. The cost of invasive species (terrestrial and aquatic) in the U.S. amounts to more than $100 billion each year. Aquatic invasive species impacts include the reduction of game fish populations, reduced usability of lakes and rivers, increased operating costs of drinking water plants, power plants, and industrial processes, reduction of native species, degradation of ecosystems, effects on human health, reduction of property values, and significantly impact local economies of water dependent communities.