Weeki Wachee High Schools’ National Honor Society is at it again, cleaning the waters of the Weeki Wachee River. They partnered with Cheryl Paradis over at Springs Coast Environmental Center to start their cleanup from the water access point of the environmental center and work their way down the river.
The cleanup targeted the removal of water lettuce out of the river, which is an invasive species. Water lettuce is non-native to the United States and is a very aggressive invader that can form thick floating mats. If these mats cover the entire surface of a body of water, they can cause oxygen depletion and kill fish and other wildlife. The students’ goal is to remove one thousand pounds of the water lettuce from the Weeki Wachee River. And this year they have doubled the help. The club recently welcomed some new members; so there are many hands ready to get to work keeping our beautiful Weeki Wachee River clean and safe.
Last year during their environmental cleanup, they removed 500lbs of Hydrilla which also poses a serious ecological threat. Its ability to grow in various conditions gives it an advantage that allows it to out-compete native plants.
Club president Rafael says they are very passionate about the work they do. He states, “It’s a great experience for the students, with the beautiful scenery and the impact they’re having on the environment.” The students also completed a roadside litter clean-up, down Cortez Blvd. Club members broke into two groups, one tackling the river cleanup, the other the road cleanup. Then after lunch, the groups switched jobs and the cleanup continued.
It’s safe to say Weeki Wachee’s National Honor Society has a love for their environment and they’re not afraid to show it. Keep it up! The Weeki Wachee River is a happier and healthier place, thanks to you.