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Uncertain Environmental Consequences of Herbicide Use
Hydrilla's roots run deep in Florida.

After a Gulf Coast aquarium dealer had the plant shipped from Sri Lanka in the early 1950s, the stringy nuisance has cost government agencies countless millions. Hydrilla grows up to two inches a day, clogging lakes, rivers and canals that flow to the Melbourne-Tillman (C-1) canal in Palm Bay. That, in turn, raises flood risks.

So Florida water managers spray upward of $15 million worth of herbicides annually to keep the invasive plant in check on public lands — with uncertain environmental consequences.


 
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Stormwater Pollution is Killing Coho Before Spawning - Researchers at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle worked with collaborators, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local tribes and the Wild Fish Conservancy, to survey 51 sites from 2000 to 2011 in streams all over the Puget Sound basin. They used the survey data with a new computer model to map predicted coho death rates. The results show that in an estimated 40 percent of their range in the Puget Sound Basin, 10 to 40 percent of coho salmon die before they can even spawn because of pollution.


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