Bill would provide funding for hydrilla control - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bill would provide funding for hydrilla control

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By Sarah Baldwin - bio | email

July 7, 2008        

LAKE SEMINOLE, GA (WALB) - Phillip Kirkland and his family love the outdoors and love visiting Lake Seminole.  "This is about our 4th time down. We usually come and camp this time we borrowed a jet ski," said Kirkland.

Everything was going great on their first time out until some of the hydrillia, the nasty weeds that plague the lake, got caught up in the jet ski.  "Of course when that happens, jet ski won't go anymore. So we had to bring it in and pull it up on land and clean it up," he said.

This common occurrence for boaters on Lake Seminole is one of the multitude of problems the vegetation can cause.  "It absorbs oxygen and also makes the fish die," said Congressman Sanford Bishop.  He is backing the bill that would provide funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to control the hyrdillia. 

"It makes the real estate on the lake shore less valuable because the people who have the lake front property are not able to fully utilize it," said Bishop.

The hydrillia is not only unsightly and a nuisance, it poses a danger to everyone out on the lake.  "It would have been for me yesterday if I hadn't been close to shore because my boat wouldn't run. It's kind of tough when you're out there to try to paddle in," said Kirkland.

Bishop said this funding will make the waters of the lake clean, navigable and accessible.  "Its another example of how only with the help of congressional directed spending can some of the local needs be addressed." 

Kirkland added, "I hope it goes through and they get it cleaned up." With the funding, the corp of engineers would likely either use carp to eat the vegetation or chemicals to kill it. Either way, the Kirklands say it would make the lake a lot more enjoyable.

The bill was already approved by the House Appropriations Committee.  The full house of representatives will consider the bill next month.

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