Helicopter Spraying For Invasive Plants on Lake Marion

COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) -- From August 5th to August 15th, Santee Cooper will conduct airborne distribution of an EPA-approved aquatic herbicide to target one specific invasive plant on Lake Marion, called Crested Floating Heart.

The Crested Floating Heart is a plant not native to South Carolina, very aggressive, and difficult to control.

Santee Cooper reports that more than 5,200 water acres are infested by Crested Floating Heart, and of that, 2,800 acres are in higher-traffic areas on lakes Marion and Moultrie.

Following treatment, those that use the lakes should see improved lake access, along with better recreational opportunities, and hope to stem the spread of these plants to other bodies of water within the Santee Cooper Lakes system.

Santee Cooper employees will be out on the water, patrolling the areas to be sprayed, and notify any boaters verbally along with posted signage at public and commercial boat landings near the targeted locations.

  • Lake users are asked to avoid the following areas during these operations:
  • Lake Marion (Calhoun County): Low Falls/Halfway Swamp, Stumphole Swamp
  • Lake Marion (Clarendon County): Elliott's Flats/Tree Line, areas adjacent to Santee River discharge to channel marker 158, Cantey Bay, Jack's Creek impoundment
  • Lake Marion (Clarendon County): Santee National Wildlife Refuge – Bluff Unit
  • Lake Moultrie: areas adjacent to mouth of Diversion Canal, Quattlebaum Cove, Sandy Beach Waterfowl Management Area

Santee Cooper is required by federal law to ensure the lakes remain open to navigation.


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