The One Rake at a Time Lyngbya cleanup project for King’s Bay got its first financial grant, worth up to $52,000, according to project director Art Jones.
Jones said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is fronting $26,000, while the city of Crystal River and Kings Bay Rotary will add $13,000 each to the two-year effort to remove Lyngbya algae by rake only from Cedar Cove, which is the area behind Cracker’s restaurant.
“It is really exciting, being our first grant, and I hope it’s the beginning of more to come. It could also be a recurring grant, so that makes it even more exciting,” Jones said.
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He said the cleanup will begin immediately and that he would encourage various groups, such as homeless charities and Scouts, to participate because they will be paid $2.77 for every cubic foot of Lyngbya removed.
“It is really a way for us to put the money right back into the community,” he said.
Jones said the city of Crystal River’s Jackie Gorman and the city’s Waterfronts Board worked hard to make the grant possible.
Lyngbya is an invasive filamentous algae detrimental to the aquatic ecosystem in King’s Bay and the Crystal River. The noxious weed interferes with boating, fishing, swimming, manatees and other aquatic life.
For more information, call Art Jones at 727-642-7659 or email MrAWJones@aol.com. To see the project in action, visit Facebook and YouTube, search SaveKingsBay.