For those who weren't able to attend the BEST meeting earlier today, I'm sorry to say that we won't attempt to transport water lettuce from Ichetucknee to the Energy Research Park this weekend. This is due both to insurmountable logistical problems at the park's slated disposal site for this weekend and permitting issues that may also take a little time to sort out. However, we will hopefully get these issues worked out before the next water lettuce clean up date.
As for a more long-term solution to the ongoing water lettuce disposal issue at Ichetucknee, I'd personally like to look for funding sources for a composting and/or biogas demonstration unit on-site at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. I was at the Ichetucknee Springs Water Quality Working Group meeting today, and I think that funding sources could possibly be available for such a project - particularly if we stress that shoreline disposal of a nutrient-rich species such as water lettuce likely has negative impacts on water quality as it decomposes. The benefits of compost and biogas would be a useful bonus. If anyone is interested in working on this more ambitious project, let me know.
Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary Ecology
School of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Florida