community magazine CAI community magazine December 2017 - Page 41

helps to reduce the quantity of chemical products used, while still providing for a healthy and aesthetically pleasing waterbody. There are many different poten- tial components to an IPM Plan, including prevention, mechanical and physical practices, cultural controls, and biological solutions. However, not all of the strategies are practical or cost-effective for every waterbody. A critical phase in the development of a compre- hensive IPM Plan is to evaluate which strategies will be appropri- ate for a specific site. Neverthe- less, many IPM practices are simple and inexpensive, and can be broadly applied for almost every waterbody. Prevention Strategies Preventing the introduction of sediment and nutrients into the water, in the first place, can pro- vide long-term benefits for water quality. Establishing healthy com- munities of shoreline aquatic veg- etation or allowing natural grasses to grow around the edges of a lake or pond will provide a filter for runoff, thus minimizing the sediment and nutrients enter- ing into the pond. In addition, the vegetation will serve to stabilize the shoreline and prevent erosion and the introduction of more sed- iment into the water. Buffers should be trimmed at least once per year and should be selectively managed throughout the growing season, removing any woody vegetation or non-native, invasive plants. Restoration Strategies Other IPM strategies are geared towards remedying the impacts that have already occurred, and focus on the root causes of the problems rather than just the symptoms. For a lake or pond with severe algae issues, strate- gies that improve water quality can make a big difference in the WWW.CAIWESTFLORIDA.ORG Integrated Pest Management The implementation of a long-term, proactive IPM Plan for algae and aquatic weed management helps to reduce the quantity of chemical products used, while still providing for a healthy and aesthetically pleasing waterbody. overall health and appearance of the waterbody. Nutrient mitigation is a widely used practice that directly targets and inactivates the phos- phorus in the water and bottom sediments of a waterbody. This technique can literally reverse the aging process and associated ef- fects of nutrient loading. Phoslock and alum are the two most commonly used products for this purpose. Product selec- tion and program development would be based on site specific conditions and the general budget for the project. Another commonly recom- mended IPM strategy for water quality restoration is the installa- tion of an aeration or circulation system. Aeration improves the health of a waterbody by adding oxygen to the system. The circu- lating action converts phospho- rus to forms that are not usable by algae as food. It also creates conditions that favor the growth of healthy green phytoplankton rather than the potentially toxic cyanobacteria species. The end result is a healthier pond with fewer harmful algae blooms, and a reduction in the need for chemi- cal treatments. Conclusion While there are numerous Inte- grated Pest Management strate- gies that can be applied as part of a long-term plan, it is important community • December 2017 Buffers Beneficial vegetative buffers comprised of native flowering plants, sedges and rushes can help strengthen lake and pond shorelines and limit nuisance aquatic weed and algae growth by preventing nutrient-rich runoff from entering the waterbody. to consider all of the site-specific characteristics of your lake or pond in order to develop a successful and environmentally sustainable program. By imple- menting a comprehensive main- tenance approach that employs a variety of water quality improve- ment strategies, the long-term re- sult will be a more balanced waterbody that requires fewer applications of herbicides and al- gaecides to maintain it in a healthy and aesthetically pleasing state. Shannon Junior is an experienced Aquatic Ecologist with SOLitude Lake Management, an environmen- tal firm providing a full array of su- perior lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management services and solutions. For more educational re- sources on industry best practices, technologies and trends, visit knowledge. 41