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BESTers,

The story below was forwarded to me from a friend in Crystal 
River. The community is desperately searching for creative, and 
sustainable, solutions to help them deal with the severe algae 
problem affecting Kings Bay. Any good ideas?

-Jason

When times are tuff, the tuff get going

The community is coming together with hard back braking work to 
fight back invasive Lyngbya.

On Saturday, the last day of February, Leadership Citrus Class of 
2009 again took up tools in a clean up of Hunter Springs Park in 
Crystal River.  The class partnered and worked with over 30 other 
volunteers on the project of cleaning the swimming area and shore 
line of one of the most beautiful public swimming areas in Citrus 
county.

Volunteers raked Lyngbya from over 2,000 sqft. of swimming area 
for a second day. Now more than 5,000 sqft. has been cleaned.  
Lyngbya is a blue-green filamentous algae that has infested the 
Hunter Springs Spring Run for years.  Years of mechanical weed 
harvesting by the county has not been able to control the Lyngbya. 
 Lyngbya destroys water quality and habitat for fish, manatees and 
people.

Saturday, people took matters into their own hands, with metal 
leaf rakes an sit-on-top kayaks they waded into the water to take 
back the Bay.  Load after load of lyngbya was piled high onto the 
floating barges, then brought to shore. People muscled the Lyngbya 
over the seawalls and dumped it onto waiting tarps.

Other volunteers worked on shore to clean the grounds of cig. 
butts and litter, power washing the pavilion, exercise equipment 
and picnic tables.  All hard time consuming work.  They will be 
ready to start painting next week, weather permitting.

Later as the Lyngbya piled up, volunteers filled wheel barrows and 
filled waiting trailers to take the Lyngbya away to be rota-tilled 
right away into garden soil.  Once removed from the water it can 
act like an enriched Peat-Moss to help condition the soil.  Two 
huge trailer loads of Lyngbya were removed from the swimming 
area.

The water is starting to turn blue again and you can see the old 
white sand bottom in places now.  As the volunteers packed up 
their tools at the end of a long day, children swam and played in 
the nice clear blue freshly cleaned water, laughing with joy and 
shouting thanks to some of the adult volunteers.

There is still more to do so, the next work day is Saturday, early 
at 7am to 11am to catch the low tide at 8:31 that day.  All future 
work days will be half days around low tides. For more info, Art 
Jones 727-642-7659 or just show up and register at the volunteer 
table.

--
Jason M. Evans, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
University of Florida
Newin-Ziegler 319
(352) 846-0148 - office
(352) 328-1199 - cell