KEY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT – FLORASCAPE AQUATICS
My dad always said that if you love your job, you never work a day in your life. When you are passionate about what you do, believe in preserving the natural ecology of our lakes, rivers and ponds – AND get to do it all with your best friend every day??? Nick Spacone and Dakota Kastler are two of the luckiest, hardest working guys who don’t work a day in their lives!
Nick and Dakota are the owners and operators of Florascape Aquatics and have been friends since their days at Steinbrenner High School. These Florida natives grew up in this lake region with an early appreciation of the pristine waters that so many of us live on. Nick grew up spending time out on Lake Alice and stated, “The lakes here are beautiful!” Growing up around our local waters gave them both an awareness of the health of the lakes and the need to preserve the delicate balance of not only the water, but the wildlife that depend on them. That is why they are adamant about not using chemicals in their work. All invasive vegetation and shoreline muck are cleared out manually. Dakota says “When people use chemicals, it will negatively impact the environment. Chemicals are faster and easier initially, but they actually create more problems down the road.” He explained that when you spray aquatic plants with chemicals, the plants die off right where they are in the water, but over time it will create build up in the lakes and rivers changing it… even to the point of creating small islands of debris.
Both men were talking so quickly and passionately about their work that I had a hard time keeping up with them. One of them said (I can’t be certain if it was Nick or Dakota!) “Who wants to have that kind of chemical exposure for their children, grandkids or pets? We love to tackle these projects, but we need to keep in mind that this is a natural habitat… we are careful with what we plant in as well as what we pull out.” While neither of these men are wildlife biologists, they see the effects that they believe come from the chemical exposure used by other businesses as well as homeowners of the lesions on the many turtles and fish that call our lakes home. Florascape Aquatics was formed exactly for this reason. The men also saw the need in our area for a service that adheres to the principals they are adamant about preserving this sensitive Keystone environment.
Before my family moved onto our lake, a well-meaning but uninformed neighbor put lake-lettuce into our lake because they thought it was so pretty, but soon it began to take over the lake. In this case, the neighbors worked together to hire someone to come out and clean it all up. Hopefully that doesn’t happen in your lake or pond, but Dakota and Nick tell me there are other ways that can bring invasive plants into the water. Sometimes it happens because boaters do not take the time to thoroughly clean their watercraft after taking it out, and then the plants transfer into the next lake they go to, or well-intentioned people putting the plants into the water or near the shore. Mother nature is guilty as well when water levels fluctuate in lakes it can happen, as well as run-off from other lakes and streams moving it around; even birds can transfer the seeds from plants into other bodies of water. The guys explained that usually native plants will stay around the shoreline, but invasive plants will spread out into the lake, and if not controlled it can really take over. Florascape Aquatics clears out invasive plants by hand without chemicals and pulling out the plants from the roots, which is the best way to remove it and ensure that your waterfront stays cleaner longer.
Did you know most lakes have a naturally occurring beach already? You can find it under the vegetation and tree debris that grows and falls daily. Do you wish that you had a white-sand beach front in your lake-front yard? Florascape Aquatics provides beach cleanup of all that aquatic related debris and vegetation. They also provide beach installations and white beach sand delivery to waterfront properties where there is not much of an established beach. Maybe with Covid around, we should all have our own private beaches to hang out on! Let them clean up the muck and sediment that builds up over time from leaves, tree debris, storm water runoff from yards and chemically sprayed vegetation. Their crew will clear the muck away by creating a sandy bottom. As they say on their website, “Let your first step in the water be an Ahh and not an Eww.”
Is your dock in need of rehabilitation or a bit of sprucing up? Let your dock or deck shine like new again! Don’t be a victim of wood rot. Constantly beating sun rays and water intrusion are just waiting to tear apart your wood unless it’s properly sealed or stained routinely. They offer services from pressure washing to repainting or staining your dock to preserve it for years to come, and they have many different color options to choose from.
Aquascaping your waterfront property with Florida friendly native plants and trees add beautiful natural color and depth to your waterfront. There are an assortment of vibrant flowering plants and trees that will visually appeal to any shoreline. Planting native aquatic plants creates a home and a food source for many fish and wildlife. The native aquatic plants help with keeping nuisance aquatic weeds under control and helps support erosion control of your shoreline. Erosion is a naturally occurring geological process on lakes and waterways due to natural forces of wind, precipitation and from manmade intervention. The best natural barriers Florascape Aquatics uses in the fight against erosion is naturally occurring lime rock and native aquatic plants. They strategically place rocks and plants that fit into your shoreline and look aesthetically appealing to keep erosion controlled. They also offer a quarterly maintenance service to keep your lakefront beautiful for you to enjoy year-round.
I was quite impressed with Nick and Dakota’s attitude about work ethic and having a business that people will recommend over and over, and they thoroughly enjoy their Keystone clients saying, “Keystone is such a nice community!” The business partners spoke in many different ways of their belief in doing quality work right the first time saying “we want more people to go out and enjoy their lakes in a safe and pristine way… we treat our clients like family. We are not afraid of hard work and don’t take shortcuts. People notice when you go the extra mile. Every day. Every time.”
Florascape Aquatics offers the following services:
- Hand Removal/Clearing of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation
- Beach Installation and Restoration (Sand Delivery)
- Erosion Control
- Dock Restorations and Pressure Washing
- Native Aquatic Planting
- Muck and Sediment Clearing
- Waterfront Maintenance Programs
Florascape Aquatics can be reached at (727) 277-5741 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at https://florascapeaquatics.com/
Florascape Aquatics is fully licensed and insured and guarantees to beat competitors’ pricing.