Invasive aquatic plants represent a serious problem in many lakes and waterways. To combat the aquatic weed infestation, herbicides are often applied directly to the water to kill the plants. Many of these herbicides are quite toxic and while permits are required prior to the application there may be flaws with the permit process.
Aquatic herbicides, which are applied directly into the water to kill the invasive species, are approved for use in the United States, many of them pose potential risks to human health and the environment. More significantly, direct application into the water means that these chemicals may drift away from the original treatment site, attacking a much larger area of the lake or pond and possibly affecting swimmers or wildlife in areas which may not have posted pesticide warnings.
2,4-D a relatively fast-acting systemic herbicide is widely used across America is able to travel though soil pathways and into groundwater, contaminating wells located near an aquifer of waterbody treated with the herbicide. It has been shown to reduce the rate of survival in ducks and waterfowl and has is highly lethal to endangered Chinook salmon smolts and fry as well as juvenile pink salmon.