TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners adjourned from their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday and viewed a newly purchased airboat for the Lake County Department of Environmental Services, Mosquito and Aquatic Plant Management Division.
Eric Cotsenmoyer points out to Commissioner Debbie Stivender how Lake County’s new logo is featured on the County’s newly purchased airboat.
The two-seat, 17-foot airboat is a replacement for one of the Division’s three airboats. According to County officials, the last airboat purchased for the aquatic plant management fleet was in 1987.
The new stainless steel and aluminum airboat is handmade by Diamondback Airboats of Cocoa, Fla. The $35,000 airboat features a Chevy 350-V-8 engine.
“This is a safer boat. The boat hull we currently have is fatigued,” said Eric Cotsenmoyer, Director of the Lake County Mosquito and Aquatic Plant Management Division. “The old boat will be used for spare parts.”
The functional new airboat is equipped with a 100-gallon pesticide tank which allows access to hard to reach areas in an effort to manage invasive aquatic plants, such as hydrilla, water hyacinth and water lettuce. Last year, the Lake County Mosquito and Aquatic Plant Management Division treated more than 2,000 acres to control the spread of invasive aquatic plants.
Aquatic plant management is vitally important to Lake County waterways. Management of aquatic plants prevents the spread of exotic plants and helps restore the natural integrity of aquatic systems. Management prevents flooding situations within the surrounding area and restores access to major water bodies.