New machine rids watersheds of pestering plant
The Prince Edward Island government is spending $60,000 on a new machine that cuts sea lettuce from watersheds.
Sea lettuce is a thick green plant that rises to the top of the water and chokes off oxygen from the sea life and plants below.
Robert Terrill Jr., of Tarpon Spring, Fla., brought the specially equipped barge to the province.
It cuts the plants and pulls them onto a barge.
Terrill said the cellophane-like sea lettuce can be used in a number of ways.
"You can use it to compost, and use the compost as an agricultural product … put it into a landfill and bury it. In some cases, there's an immediate need for it agriculturally before it's composted," said Terrill.
"In our case, [it's used] in orange groves to contain the moisture in the soils — our soils are very sandy and require constant replenishment of nutrient and constant irrigation."
Since the Island lacks orange groves, the sea lettuce is being spread on some potato fields.
On Friday, the barge was in Covehead Bay.