If the weather looks sketchy, we'll post an assessment at 7AM Saturday (6/24) deciding to go ahead with the clean-up or reschedule to Sunday, the 25th (the following day).
Late last fall, water hyacinth was introduced into the north end of Bayou St. John. In a mere six months, it has multiplied many times. It now lines the west bank of Bayou St John from Robert E Lee Blvd to Filmore Ave. It moves with the wind, so parts have broken off and made their way to other parts of the bayou, likely even pass the Filmore Ave. Bridge.
According to the University of Florida, one plant can grow to cover an acre in one growing season!
This is a very prolific and dangerous invasive aquatic plant that is now threatening the health of Bayou St John. We must carefully manually remove every piece. If one tiny portion of a plant is left, it’ll will become a whole new reproducing plant. We must dispose of it in a place where it dies completely and cannot re-enter any waterways including storm drains that lead back out to Lake Pontchartrain.
This does not only threaten the recreational use of Bayou St. John, but also the ecological health we’ve worked so hard to improve.
We are coordinating two removal days within a week to in order to ensure the most thorough removal, ideally eradication. It will be up to all of us individually to remove plants as we see them pop up through-out the future.
DAY 1: 12PM to 2PM Tuesday, June 20th. The Barman’s Fund has graciously offered their services. It is specially scheduled to accommodate service industry folks. Anyone is welcome to join! This will be the bulk of the removal; we’ll get the big obvious patches.
DAY 2: 9AM to 11AM Saturday, June 24th. This removal will be a bit more meticulous. We’ll have to spread out and look for hidden patches and individual plants along the banks.
Each event will be followed by a swim in Lake Pontchartrain and a bit of lakefront chillin’! Bring a picnic lunch and whatever you'd like to drink.
Expect to get wet and messy :oP Come fed and hydrated. Bring at least a liter of water. Lather yourself with sunscreen and wear a hat.
We need the following supplies; any donations are welcome! Bring any supplies you think may help.
2 Pick-Up Trucks that can handle some weight. We need to transport the plants to a composting sight; it may take multiple trips.
Canoes. If you have one, bring it with you. They can hold more plants than a kayak. We'll bring 8 kayaks and 1 canoe.
Pitch Forks or Rakes. City Park is allowing us to use 6 of their pitch forks.
Nets with short handles for removal from boats.
Hip or Chest Waders for plants tucked into the brush along the banks.
City Park has graciously offered their composting site!
Anyone with experience removing water hyacinth or taking on similar projects, please share suggestions and/or equipment.
Those interested can contact Sara (512-964-9499 or [email protected]