Terry Sullivan, regional biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said he doesn't know how many of those permits involve mechanical harvesters like Meutzel's.
Marqua obtained a permit from Sullivan
, although he
was not happy that Sullivan
forced him to retain a 50-by-75-foot swath of matted weeds on his
shoreline for fish habitat.
said small creatures live in the weeds and provide a food source for fish and wading birds.Without the weeds, Sullivan
said, many animals would abandon the lake system.For that reason, he
said DEP wants to protect some of the weeds.
defends herbicide spraying, saying it doesn't harm the environment.He
says an acre of water hyacinths can produce 650,000 plants in a year that shed 250 tons of wet leaves in the water.He
said spraying chemicals in the water kills the plants before they can produce more leaves.
Meutzel said Sullivan
is not a man whose mind can be changed by arguing, and he
doesn't plan to try.He
job is to harvest weeds for private landowners, not to fight the state.He
points to Lake Pocono, about two miles east of Marqua's home, as one of his