Water hyacinth ( ichhornia crassipes). Credit: Wing1990hk - Own work, Wikimedia.org
"It's an invasive, non-native aquatic weed," said U.S. Department of Agriculture research entomologist Patrick Moran. "It floats on the water surface. It was introduced from South America over 100 years ago because it has pretty flowers and now it's spread out of control."
Though still out of control, water hyacinth in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has seen a 20% reduction since 2014 due to cooperation among state and local agencies (led by the USDA). Which is encouraging to many residents who have dealt with, and feared, the invasive. "In the summertime, no swimming no kayaking. Boating was difficult; property values went down," said Jim Mattison. "A lot of people were thinking if this is the way of the future, we're going to have to pack up and go."
"We hope to see that level of reduction each year," said Moran. "We're never going to eradicate the water hyacinth-- but we're going to reduce the need for control."
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