Giant Salvinia Battle
Sometime in late January, 2019, a large mat of giant salvinia along with a much smaller portion of water hyacinth suddenly appeared in Bayou St John. Both of these invasive plants present a threat to the navigability of the bayou.
Giant salvinia is an aquatic invasive plant from Brazil with aggressive reproduction cycle and no local predators. Eradication of this plant in infested waterways has yet to be accomplished. Only with thorough and persistent maintenance can the plant’s numbers be managed.
If left unchecked, giant salvinia will grow into dense mats completely devouring a waterway and its inhabitants. Once the water’s surface has been covered, blocked sunlight lowers the dissolved oxygen levels in the water. Native plants are unable to compete with the invasive plants, negatively affecting all fauna, and hence the end of most aquatic life in the bayou.
In order to successfully manage these invasive plants, we need to work diligently together.
On February 5, 2019, a gathering of representatives from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), City Park, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF), Friends of Bayou St John (FOBSJ), Kayak-iti-Yat, Innovative Aquatic Solutions, Faubourg St John Neighborhood Association (FSJNA), Urban Conservancy, City Council, and Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East began planning the removal and maintenance of these invasive plants.
In an effort to minimize herbicide treatments, the community quickly came together to manually remove the plants with the leadership of the Giant Salvinia Control Patrol. There were three organized removal days in February; United Saints Recovery Project sent several groups of university students throughout March; and the Salvinia Patrol organized an effort in mid-June. LDWF has worked closely with the community. Two herbicide treatments were necessary to supplement the manual removal for successful management.
We could not have accomplished as much success without the amazing cohesive partnerships of all listed above!
Giant Salvinia Control Patrol Facebook Page
“Neighborhood Patrol Removes 50 Tons of Invasive Plant from Bayou St. John” by Paul Murphy, WWLTV. June 14, 2019.
“Volunteers Help Clean up Bayou St. John from Green Salvinia” by Adam Bowles, WGNO. June 16, 2019.
“Volunteers Work at Keeping Bayou St. John Free of Giant Salvinia” by Times Picayune. June 15, 2019.
“Invasive Plant still Threatens Bayou St. John” by Katherine Hart, Mid-City Messenger. June 10, 2019.
“Neighbors Fight Back Invasive Plant Floating in Bayou St. John” by Sara Sneath, Times Picayune. February 14, 2019.
“Community Members Fight Invasive Species Taking over Bayou St. John” by Tiffany Wong, Fox8. February 9, 2019.
“Bayou St John Residents Fight Invasive Species” by Nicondra Norwood, Fox8. February 6, 2019.
“Details about the Invasive Plant Floating in Bayou St John” by Travis Lux, WWNO. February 6, 2019.
“Invasive Green Plant Takes over Bayou St. John” by Paul Dudley, WWLTV. January 29, 2019.