Round flotation devices are showing up in lakes in St Lucie West. What are they? What’s going on?
Residents of St Lucie West might notice the new limnocorrals installed in the lakes in Country Club Estates, Kings Isle and the Cascades neighborhoods. They are part of a new University of Florida research and extension project designed to test the efficacy of the use of dyes for algae management in their lake system. Dr. Dail Laughinghouse, Assistant Professor of Applied Phycology with the UF/IFAS Ft Lauderdale REC, in conjunction with St Lucie County’s UF/IFAS Natural Resources Extension Agent Ken Gioeli, are collaborating with the St Lucie West Services District on this project. The St Lucie West Services District is the agency responsible for maintenance of the aquatics system in this community.
So what’s being tested? UF/IFAS faculty are examining the affects of Aquashade blue dyes on water quality and the algal species community. Aquashade is a blue dye that uses some of the same wavelengths that algae need to survive. It also breaks down and dissipates quickly. These limnocorrals will be self-contained test plots where scientists will be conducting the Aquashade treatments. Samples will be analyzed by the Laughinghouse lab at the Ft Lauderdale Research and Education Center to determine affects on water quality and algal species. The goal is to reduce dependency on algaecides in favor of dyes in their storm water system.
Upon completion of this project, St Lucie West Services District employees will receive training on algae IPM and how dyes can be used to reduce dependency on algaecides.
For additional information, please contact Extension Agent Ken Gioeli at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about aquatic plants in Florida lakes can be found online at http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/pubs/circulars/Circular111_FA16300_pdfta-10-22-14.pdf