The city of Lakeland will continue limited spraying to control invasive plants  in lakes even as a temporary moratorium halts the bulk of herbicide use in Lakeland lakes, city commissioners were told this morning.

“We’re concerned that while they (invasive plants) are not being managed, as soon as it gets a little warmer and growing season starts, they’re going to multiply like crazy,” Lakes & Stormwater Manager Laurie Smith said during a commission agenda preview meeting.

Commissioner Phillip Walker had asked her how the city’s lakes would be affected by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission temporary halt on herbicide spraying as it takes comments on the use of using weed-killers such as Roundup.

Most of the spraying in Lakeland’s lakes is done by Polk County under contract with FWC and will stop during the moratorium that’s expected to last two months, she explained.

City crews will continue removing plants that block places where stormwater enters lakes, Smith said. And they will also make sure healthy lake vegetation doesn’t become overgrown.

Commissioner Scott Franklin cautioned against the use of herbicides using glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup. As an insurance professional, he said, he is seeing insurers “getting away from anybody who touches Roundup, retailers are pulling it from the shelves” as lawsuits against Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, proliferate.

“We need to figure out a plan to stop using it,” Franklin said. “It has the potential to be another asbestos.”

Smith replied that city staffers use protective equipment when using herbicides and refrains from spraying on windy days.

Click the play arrow to view and hear this morning’s discussion:

Agenda Study & Committees 2019.02.15 from City of Lakeland on Vimeo.


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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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1 Comment

  1. There has to be another way to control invasive vegetation in our lakes. They need to look into stocking the lakes with fish that will eat it, that’s what was done at my neighborhood

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