The 'Carolina' Session: Aquatic Macrophyte Distribution in the Santee Cooper Lakes - A Study Approach,
SOUTH CAROLINA DEPT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL COLUMBIA
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About 2-12 years ago the Union Camp Corporation announced its intention to construct a pulp and paper mill on the Wateree River approximately 20 miles upstream of Lake Marion. Concerns were immediately raised by various groups regarding a number of potential adverse environmental impacts from the proposed facility. Those who use the system downstream of the intended wastewater discharge location were primarily concerned about the mills impact on fishing and on an existing aquatic macrophyte problem in upper Lake Marion. Even more specifically, most users and many agencies were concerned about a potential toxic impact on the mills effluent on the early life stages of striped bass, which spawn in the Wateree and Congaree Rivers. These same groups were also concerned about the impact of the additional nutrient load from the facility on the macrophyte problem. The basic study approach selected for the initial phases of the project was to concentrate on problem identification and assessment. In order to identify and assess the macrophyte situation in Upper Lake Marion, above I-95 where the majority of the weeds exist, it was decided that mapping the weed distribution for several successive years would be appropriate. Literature reviews and interviews with weed experts conducted to date predominately indicate that, with respect to weed growth, critical environmental parameters to be concerned with are depth, light penetration and substrate composition interspecific competition and the physical stability sheltered areas, wave action, etc. of an area.