Invasive Plant Species in your Retention Ponds

One of the reasons that associations have to engage the services of lake maintenance companies for stormwater retention areas is to help control the noxious weeds that are a threat to all of Florida Waterways.  The Top 10 noxious weed invaders according to the St. John’s River Water Management District are:

  1. Hydrilla
  2. Water hyacinth
  3. Water lettuce
  4. Chinese tallow
  5. Japanese and Old World climbing ferns
  6. Cogon grass
  7. Brazilian pepper
  8. Tropical soda apple
  9. Torpedo grass
  10. Air potato

Just like the non native pythons that are a problem in the Everglades, noxious weeds can cause an environmental change in your stormwater system. There are very few companies that offer manual extraction of these invasive species so it’s best to manage them in the beginning. If you notice a clump of weeds gathering at the waters edge, notify the manager or the lake maintenance company.

Also, is you live along the lake and your property has a “stormwater retention easement” indicated on your property survey, make sure you do not fence or block access to the retention area. There are a limited number of these easements around a retention area.  If it becomes necessary to obtain access to the retention area, you could be forced to remove the fence to allow access.

If you have brought your boat home from a creek, river or lake that has these noxious plants, they could have hitched a ride.  When you wash your boat and flush the engine, these weeds flow out onto your driveway or yard.  You, in turn, hose the driveway off into the street where it ends up in the stormwater system the next time it rains. Its a never ending cycle but you can do your part by not flushing your wash material into the street.

Photos courtesy of University of Florida IFS Extension Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

hydrilla soda apple torpedo grass water lettuce



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