The multi-million dollar acreage-intensive spraying program is expected to get underway sooner than the past sessions, according to DBW spokesperson Gloria Sandoval. And although the whens and wheres of the eradication program are still to be determined, what has been established is that Discovery Bay and surrounding areas will once again make the list for treatment.
“We’ve been working closely with the feds and it’s anticipated that funding for the water hyacinth and egeria densa will be made available again this year,” said Sandoval, who added that if the treatment is successful, the DBW might be able to push its yearly permit approvals to five-year terms. “We’re closing in on dates and locations now and should have some schedules soon.”
Egeria densa, the robust and fast-growing weed commonly found in pet stores and home aquariums, first caught the attention of local homeowners and officials nearly three years ago when it began clogging the bays and waterways up and down the Delta. Egeria densa and water hyacinth are treated with a non-toxic chemical called Fluridone. The cost is expensive – approximately $2,000 per acre – but the state has reported that funding for the chemicals and ongoing monitoring of its effectiveness will be available again this season.
Spraying of the weeds typically begins in early summer and is implemented in a series of treatments over a three-month period. While the program is classified as an eradication program, in reality it’s a control program designed to keep the pesky weeds merely at bay.
Flourishing in late summer and early fall, the weeds clog the waterways and get tangled in boat motors, causing extensive damage and untold frustration to homeowners and recreationists up and down the Delta.
Discovery Bay resident and Contra Costa County District III Supervisor Mary Piepho has continued to lead the charge against the waterweeds, recently hosting a meeting with local, state and federal entities. “Invasive weeds such as egeria densa and water hyacinth affect not only the Delta’s ecosystem but also navigation, public safety, recreation and agricultural activities, including California’s water supply,” Piepho said. “The presence of these weeds affects us all.”
Discovery Bay General Manager Rick Howard, who attend Piepho’s recent forum, is pleased the Delta and especially Discovery Bay and Bethel Island are still on the DBW’s radar. “As the single largest community on the Delta, we’re happy that the state is continuing to recognize the water weed issues we have here in Discovery Bay,” Howard said. “Last year was a significant improvement over 2011 and hopeful this year will be the same.”
For additional information on the DBW and treatment updates, log onto www.dbw.ca.gov. Updates may also be obtained by e-mailing the department at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 888-326-2822.