Manatee County introduces 'Weedoo' to help keep waterways clean

Manatee County is getting some help keeping the water clean from a bright yellow machine called Weedoo. 

The machine looks like an excavator on the water, and it scoops up excess seagrass and cleans ponds and lakes overcrowded with lily pads, invasive grass and more. The Weedoo costs $75,000, and Manatee County was able to purchase two. 

"We can take it to the beach, or to the land, a pond and send a loader to pick it up and haul it off," said Roger Waldron with Manatee County.

Manatee County officials said Weedoo is a great investment for their employees, the community and the waterways. It can also be used to collect dead fish from fish kills. 

"During the summer time 2018, we cleaned up the beaches from Coquina to Bean Point, and it was all on foot with a loader," said George Donahue, the property management supervisor for Manatee County.

With thousands of dead fish washing ashore during that time, Donahue will never forget the smell.

"People were getting sick with the heat, different things. This will be a big help," he said.

The machine is a big help on the water in a place so many visitors and locals love. 

"It's a good thing because I’m a huge boater and I love the water. To keep it clean is very important," said Waldron.