On December 1, the City of St. Pete sent out a crew to poison the water lettuce on Crescent Lake. There are a number of issues here:
1) There needs to be an early warning system so residents around the lake and any of our citizens walking in the vicinity of the lake can make a point of removing themselves out of the poison zone.
2) It was very windy that morning, causing the poison to drift all over the sidewalks at the lake as well as into the surrounding neighborhoods. The poison crew should have decided upon observing the weather conditions that this was NOT the day to spread the herbicide. A number of neighbors reported that they and their dogs were covered in the herbicide. Also, much of the vegetation on the banks was covered in poison as were many of our water fowls, turtles, etc. This should have never happened.
3) The city needs to disclose the poisons it sprays. And please remember, just because something is EPA approved does NOT make it safe. A lot of the poisons commonly and freely used in the U.S. have long been outlawed in other fully industrialized countries.
4) The city needs to address the use of fertilizers in its neighborhoods as fertilizer runoff is the culprit here. Being able to sport St. Augustine grass is NOT more important than the health of our communities, the lake, and our urban wildlife.
In summary, there needs to be better communication from the city to its residents. I for one want to have the opportunity to completely remove myself and my animals from the neighborhood whenever the city decides to spray. The city also need to come up with a long-term plan targeted at preventing the growth of algae and water lettuce.
A. Crescent Lake Park