Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should all non-native plants in Alaska should be targeted and eradicated?
A: The term non-native refers to a plant that would not be in Alaska without the assistance of humans. Thus, the majority of ornamentals and agricultural plants in Alaska are considered non-native. The species targeted by the CWMA are called invasive species. Invasives are non-native plants but, in addition, have the potential or demonstrated an ability to impact the economy, ecosystems, or human-well being.
Personally, I love cultivating my garden and flower beds and many species I use are non-native (e.g. cabbage, potatoes, peony, and marigolds). However, I am cautious to avoid cultivating with species that are known to be invasive. Examples of species to avoid in cultivation are reed canary grass, orange hawkweed, common tansy, oxeye daisy, and butter & eggs.
ELODEA ERADICATION PROJECT FAQ's
Q: Where is herbicide being applied for the eradication of Elodea?
A: Herbicide will be applied to three lakes in the Nikiski area: Stormy Lake, Beck Lake, and Daniels Lake.
Q: What are the toxicity concerns with the herbicides being used to treat Elodea?
A: There are two herbicides being used to treat Eldoea on the northern Kenai Peninsula.
The first one, fluridone, is a systemic herbicide that inhibits chlorophyl production. Because of this mode of action, it has no effect on humans, wildlife, insects, etc. An individual can drink the lake water immediately after the herbicide is applied. The rate of application is also important. The EPA has certified fluridone to be safe at levels that do not exceed 150 ppb (parts per billion). This project will be maintaining a concentration of 8 ppb, significantly less than any threshold of concern.
The second one, diquat, is a topical herbicide which also inhibits chlorophyl production. Because of it's moderate toxicity, there is a minimal exposure concern. People should not directly drink the lake water itself within 24 hours of application. There will be no risk to well water. There are no restrictions on swimming in the water. It is important to note that this herbicide will only be used in five discrete portions of Daniels Lake, and not in Beck Lake or Stormy Lake. Also, this herbicide is a one time application, and there is no current anticipated need to reapply.
Q: Will the presense of the herbicide affect my daily life at all?
A: The goal of this project is to maintain a minimal concentration of fluridone in the three lakes for a few years, or until the target plant is eradicated. During this period, it is important that residents of Beck Lake and Daniels Lake do not use lake water to directly irrigate crops or water their lawns. This does not apply to well water, as there will be no groundwater contamination. This is the only restriction that residents need to be aware of.
Q: What is the schedule for applying the herbicides?
A: The first round of applications will occcur in summer 2014. Beck Lake and Daniels Lake will be treated in early June, and Stormy Lake will be treated in late July. In order to maintain a functional level of herbicide, the three lakes will be treated again in late September 2014. There will be another round in early summer 2015, and again in 2016 (as needed). The lakes will all be regularly monitored and each supplemental application will only apply the amount of herbicide required.
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: There is an extensive wealth of information available in the Integrated Pest Management Plan for this project. It discusses the biology of Elodea, it's impact as an invasive, comparative management strategies, and a detailed scope for the implementation of this project. There is also an extensive bibliography directing interested parties to the research this porject was based on.
Individuals can also feel free to contact any of the following people, who have a firm grasp of the whole project:
Matt Steffy - Homer Soil and Water Conservation District - 907.235.8177 x117
John Morton - Kenai National Wildlife Refuge - 907.260.2815
Brianne Blackburn - Department of Natural Resources - 907.745.8785
Feel free to send your questions through the "Contact Us" section of this website.