California State University East Bay

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California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Discovery Bay and Delta Affected by Invasive Plant

Discovery Bay and many parts of the Delta are heavily distressed by an invasive species called egeria densa, or “Brazilian waterweed.”

The plant is long and stringy and can get caught in propellers of boats or wrap around birds’ necks and affect where fish should and usually would be swimming.

Large fish cannot swim into their usual homes because this water plant is too thick and long.

Egeria densa has grown rapidly to affect 12 percent of the Delta waterways.

“My boat’s prop[eller] has been caught and almost broken while driving into my cove,” said Michael Muccio, a Discovery Bay resident.

Some suspect that the outbreak of this rapidly growing aquarium plant was caused by an accidental aquarium dumping into the delta waterway.  It is now a disaster for Discovery Bay homeowners.

Discovery Bay has formed multiple companies to clean this plant from homeowners’ docks.  Machines have been brought in to tear the root of the plant away from homes.

“We spent thousands of dollars on getting rid of this plant in and around my dock, and it keeps growing right back,” said homeowner Jerry Ybarra.

Realtors are having trouble selling homes and Discovery Bay homeowners are scared this could affect the value of their beautiful waterfront houses.

“It is very hard to show and sell houses while this plant is affecting the waterways,” said Craig Sasville, a Discovery Bay realtor.

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, removing and destroying stem fragments from recreational equipment such as the boats and docks in Discovery Bay can prevent the spread of the plant.

Contra Costa County and the state of California have already spent $2 million to control this plant with herbicide pellets that won’t negatively affect swimmers, boaters, fish or the environment.

“After a 12-week treatment and cleaning, we have seen great improvements to certain areas,” said Gloria Sandoval, public information officer for the state’s Department of Boating and Waterways. “We have decided to keep containing the plant, we are working with Contra Costa County closely and we are always looking for funding.

“The opinion of experts and scientists say that the 20-foot rooted plants are becoming a lighter green color and tips are breaking off the tops of the plants, which is a good thing for the waterways,” Sandoval continued.

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Discovery Bay and Delta Affected by Invasive Plant