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Volunteers help clean up invasive ''alligator weed'' in LSU lakes

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BATON ROUGE - Many volunteers spent their weekend weeding a troublesome plant popping up in the LSU lakes.

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

"I don't think we can physically get rid of it," said Thomas. "But we can control it."

Untreated alligator grass could potentially turn the lakes into a swamp. The weed would eventually suffocate the lakes, sucking the oxygen and life out of the water.

"Once it covers the enough surface area, you can't get a canoe through it," Thomas added. "The birds can't get through it and animals can't get to shore."

The invasive weed is believed to have first arrived in the U.S. back in the 1800s. Since then, it's become a problem in seven states, including California and Florida.

Removing the weed is a tedious process that requires lots of helping hands. Several members of the newly reinstated Sigma Chi fraternity at LSU also pitched in.

To find out how you can assist, click here or email Matt Thomas at parrymatt@gmail.com. Volunteers can also check out the preservation group's Facebook page.


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