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Water Management Associations
Where is the Water?

Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge is experiencing major problems with water hyacinth and salvinia, two invasive aquatic plant species that are choking off access to fishing spots. Once the water hyacinth grows thick enough in a given area, Cuban sage grass grows on top of the plant, making an area of water appear to be a meadow.

The Tri-Parish waterways are seeing the same problems with the invasive species. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Corps of Engineers (USACE) have shared the expense and work of spraying hyacinth-infested waters. The New Orleans district of the USACE has faced budget cuts and will no longer be providing the $1.5 million spent on spraying in those areas, and Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet is concerned about what will be done to maintain local waterways.

Water hyacinth has been controlled using herbicides in the past at a cost of $10 to $12 per acre with one or two applications to keep it under control. Salvinia takes several applications to control with a price tag of $50 to $150 per acre. There are several hundred thousand acres of salvinia that need management.

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Phragmites Invasions Harm Riparian Ecology - Michigan has many areas where fires or flooding are an ongoing concern. The introduction of Phragmites and similar non-native invasive plants can increase those risks. The unchecked growth of invasive plants may change how water drains, drying out wetlands and creating situations for local flooding. This can create the potential for fire hazards, especially in the spring where last year’s dead and dry growth is still standing.

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