Florida is an ideal destination for invasive non-native aquatic plants because of its semi-tropical climate and large number of shallow waterbodies. Serious aquatic weed problems required intervention as early as 1890, when the South American water hyacinth blocked virtually all navigation on the St Johns River. As a result, Florida has a long history of aquatic weed control programs and research efforts. The dedicated efforts of numerous scientists at federal, state, and local governmental levels and the Florida state university system are largely responsible for the aquatic plant management technology available today. Plant managers across the nation and in other countries continue to look to Florida’s aquatic plant management research for expertise.
With that said, controlling invasive aquatic plants remains challenging. Managers must maintain a delicate balancing act of keeping invasive plants at low levels while also protecting Florida’s unique aquatic habitats for citizens and wildlife.
This section provides information and resources for those individuals tasked with controlling aquatic invasive plants in Florida’s unique aquatic habitats.