International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Samuel Ratick

Second Reader

John Baker


Hydro-raking is one management option to control non-native invasive and native nuisance plants in freshwater ponds and lakes in Massachusetts. The hydro-rake is a floating pontoon boat with paddlewheels and a long, giant rake that scoops plants from pond or lake bottoms. Analyzing eight case studies in Massachusetts where hydro-raking occurred, this thesis provides a comprehensive overview of when the process would be recommended or not. The results, displayed in a decision tree guide the reader through questions to test for suitability of the water body they manage. The water level needs to be between one and twelve feet, and the pond or lake requires shore access for the machinery. Plants recommended for hydro-raking in Massachusetts are rooted floating plants and emergent shoreline plants. Plants not recommended for removal through hydro-raking include species that spread through fragmentation. Organic debris and trash are also recommended for removal with the hydro-rake.



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