Interagency Crackdown on Aquatic Invasive Weeds in the Delta

water-hyacinth-sliderboxBy Chris “Maven” Austin

This past year, invasive weeds in the Delta were likely the worst it’s ever been, with the low flows due to the drought and lack of cold, freezing temperatures allowing the invasive  water hyacinth to proliferate and choke much of the Delta’s waterways. Water hyacinth is the most visible of the Delta’s invasive weed problem, creating dense mats up to six feet thick that make navigation difficult if not impossible, as well as threatening the ecological balance of the ecosystem, but there are other invasive weeds, such as egeria densa, spongeplant, and arundo that are just as problematic.

At the Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee, committee members heard about the latest efforts to deal with the problem. “I know when we think of invasive species, many types come to mind, but only a handful negatively impact Delta residents, local, state, and federal agencies as much as aquatic weeds,” said Chair Randy Fiorini. “The extreme nuisance and economic hardship that have become synonymous with invasive aquatic vegetation have also galvanized several interagency efforts to combat the problem. Supervisor Piepho gets a lot of credit for initiating local awareness and in bringing a team of people together to attach this pesky problem.”

Here to report on the progress is Dr. Patrick Moran, a Research Entomologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit, and Acting Deputy Director Christopher Conlin with Cal State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, the lead state agency tasked with addressing the problem.

Continue reading at Maven’s Notebook here: Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee, part 3: Interagency Crackdown on Aquatic Invasive Weeds in the Delta

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