The City of Lakeland recently purchased an aquatic plant harvester and it needs a name.
The aquatic plant harvester will be used to remove floating and submerged aquatic plants from the city’s lakes to combat invasive aquatic species. Removing invasive water plants will encourage the growth of healthy native plant communities and help maintain open-water navigational channels for boaters.
The aquatic plant harvester is technically a boat and registered as a vessel with the State of Florida, so the city needs your help to come up with a clever name for it!
The City of Lakeland is hosting a naming contest. Those interested in participating must email one submission per person to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be chosen by City of Lakeland staff based on what they think is the best name for the vessel. The winner will receive a gift bag that features a number of city-related items, including a $100 gift card. City of Lakeland employees are not eligible to participate. The contest ends Friday, September 4th, at 5 p.m.
“Aquatic plant harvesting removes undesirable plants and restores the natural ecology of the water body,” said Laurie Smith, Manager of Lakes & Stormwater Division. “Removing invasive water plants also improves fish and wildlife habitat.”
Physically removing aquatic plants reduces the undesirable results of using expensive herbicides that allow the plants to die in place, sinking to the bottom of the lake and contributing to muck accumulation and decreased water quality. The harvested weeds can be repurposed as compost, fertilizer, or livestock feed.
The ILH9-650 aquatic harvester is 10 feet wide by 42 feet long and has a load capacity of 650 cubic yards (10,000 pounds!) and weighs 14,000 pound. The underwater cutting blades are nine feet wide and can be lowered up to eight feet below the surface of the water to cut through aquatic plants. The plants are gathered and loaded onto the harvester through a conveyor system. Once full, the harvester transfers the weeds to a waiting dump truck to be transported to a composting facility.