Shared Uses and Functions and the Potential for Conflicts
Aquatic Plant Management Programs
Most Florida public lakes and rivers are shallow and capable of supporting submersed as well as floating plants across most or all of their surfaces. Couple this topography with a nearly year-round growing season. Add the phenomenal growth of invasive plants, and it becomes clear that plants must be managed to conserve the uses and functions of Florida public waters. When developing aquatic plant management programs, managers must consider multiple perspectives, needs, desires, and impacts upon all user groups. The best means to resolve user conflicts is to involve stakeholders in the development of management plans. By understanding the many demands on Florida’s waters, the stresses from invasive plants, and the management options available, informed citizens can better assist in developing comprehensive management plans that consider all uses of a waterbody. Plant managers can then develop integrated plant management approaches that minimize user conflicts, while accomplishing the statutory requirements of aquatic plant management.
For information on being involved in the development of invasive plant management programs, contact your Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Regional Biologist in your area of the state.