People are being asked to stay away from certain areas of Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie next week, when Santee-Cooper will use a helicopter to spray herbicide over the water.
It’s the latest step in a decades-long struggle against the invasive weed hydrilla, which can quickly overgrow a lake bottom and make lake channels impassible if left alone. “This is something we have been fighting for a number of years,” Santee-Cooper spokeswoman Mollie Gore said, “It has had a particularly robust growing season this year, so we want to give it some particular attention.”
The spraying will take place October 17-21. Santee-Cooper is asking lake users to stay away from the following areas of the lakes during the spraying. The utility’s staff will patrol these areas to make sure they are clear for spraying.
Lake Marion (Berkeley County)
Big Lake Campground to Pintail and Chimney Islands– Bass Islands
Lake Moultrie (Berkeley County)
Angel’s Landing– Sandy Beach WMA– Old Santee Canal Cove– Quattlebaum’s Canal Cove– Braswell Slough– Cross subdivision– Duck Pond– West Dam Channel from West Dike Landing to Hatchery Landing– Hatchery WMA
Gore said the chemicals Santee-Cooper will use are safe and EPA-approved. “You still don’t want to spray it directly on anybody,” she said, “When it starts raining, it’s safe water, but people still get their umbrellas.”
Hydrilla has been spreading across the Southeast since it was first released into Florida waterways in the 1960s.