Save The Rainbow River

The otters living in the Rainbow River need our help

Hydrilla has invaded the beautiful Rainbow river.

Hydrilla is destroying the habitat where the otters live.

Hydrilla is here because of us, it is a plant from south east Asia that was brought in to be used in small aquarium tanks years ago. Hydrilla escaped and is now invading our lakes, springs, and rivers.

Hydrilla grows so fast that it crowds out and suffocates all the other native plants.

Hydrilla is very invasive and wants to dominate the entire ecosystems in our lakes rivers and springs we can’t let it win.

The Beautiful Rainbow river was invaded by hydrilla years ago. Hydrilla can grow up to 2 inches a day in the summer months. Otters, people, and other aquatic animals can not swim thru the big massive dense mats of Hydrilla.

Every year there is more Hydrilla and less native eelgrass. We want native eelgrass, it is good, growing on the bottom it creates a great home for not only otters, but everything else.

The Hydrilla becomes so dense that it slows down the water. Less current means better environment for toxic Lyngbya algae to grow. We are seeing Lyngbya in parts to the river already.

Every year Hydrilla becomes so bad that the State has no choice but to spray the Hydrilla with herbicide, or it will choke the river to death with in a years time. The state has been spraying Hydrilla for at least the last 30 years on a regular basis.

After the Hydrilla is treated with the herbicide Endothol it starts to die back slowly over the next 30 to 60 days. It sheds its leaves slowly creating silt that sinks to the bottom. As the hydrilla dies it covers the bottom helping suffocate any eelgrass struggling to survive.

The next generation of Hydrilla will emerge after about 6 months and feed on all this left over silt, muck, and debris growing again. It is a viscous cycle, and after 30 years, the rivers needs a good cleaning.

As a good farmer will first prepare their field before planting, so must we prepare the bottom of the river before planting. We need to remove the Hydrilla, vacuum up the silt and muck so we can see the natural bottom again, and then we can replant eel grass.

If given a fair chance, the eel grass will once again become the dominate SAV (Submerged Aquatic Vegetation) on the bottom of the river. When eelgrass gets it roots down deep into the natural bottom it will grow and prosper, crowding out the Hydrilla by shading it from sunlight with its thick blades of grass.

This has been proven to work by the results of the Kings Bay Restoration project in Crystal River. This will bring back the stories of yesteryear, crystal clear water with fields of eel grasses blowing in the currents and a river full of happy people and otters.

This is the beginning of a 5-year project to clean up and restore the Rainbow river and with a vow to maintain it once it is restored again so herbicide use is no longer needed.

Please help us, we have a proven plan and just need money to hire an experienced contractor to vacuum up all the silt and muck and plant eel grass.

Please donate if you can.

The otters, and all those that call the river home, will be grateful.

Thank you.

Art Jones
Founder and President of One Rake at a Time, Inc.

A non-profit 501(c)(3)
Dedicated to restoring our Springs.