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Volunteers needed to weed pesky plant growing around LSU lakes

5 years 5 months 1 week ago Tuesday, February 05 2019 Feb 5, 2019 February 05, 2019 9:43 PM February 05, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A troublesome plant is popping up in the LSU lakes. One nonprofit organization is looking to get rid of the aggressive species, but is in desperate need of volunteers.

Matt Thomas, the president of The University Lakes Preservation and Improvement Association, first noticed the new plant— alligator grass—in University Lake last fall.

“It was sprayed in November and it’s already grown back quickly and green, so it’s very healthy,” said Thomas.

Thomas typically spends his cleaning efforts getting rid of hyacinth, but alligator grass has him the most concerned.

“If it covers and then you finally get around to killing it, it rots, takes all the oxygen out of the water and kills the fish,” he said. “And once it’s dead it turns into gunk and settles to the bottom of the lake. These lakes are already shallow, the last thing you want to do is make it more shallow by stacking dead biomass on top of the bed.”

Thomas says untreated alligator grass could turn the lakes into a swamp. He’s already started removing the plant, but there’s a big issue holding him back: he needs more volunteers to help.

“Honestly, I would love for a fraternity or two to step up because most of them are strong manpower, we'd give them something to do to keep them out of trouble,” said Thomas.

Thomas is going to be doing shore cleanup on Wednesday. It's a slow process with few hands. He'd like to continue Friday and through the weekend but has no volunteers to help him, yet.

To find out how to assist, click here. Or email Thomas at parrymatt@gmail.com

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