NEW ORLEANS — The Bayou St. John neighborhood says the bayou is under attack – by water hyacinths.
The water hyancinth is an invasive species from South America that can clog up a waterway if left unchecked.
According to LSU’s Marine Education Resources website, “this plant forms a dense floating carpet on ponds, lakes and bayous that blocks sunlight.”
“Lack of sunlight often kills submerged plants and results in low oxygen levels in the water,” the website says.
That’s why people who use the bayou for recreational activities want to clear the plant from the bayou.
Kayakityat, a kayak tour company, is hosting two water hyancinth removal days, one on June 20 and one on June 24.
The company says the hyacinth appeared in the bayou about six months ago and has already spread from Robert E. Lee Boulevard to Filmore Avenue.
“This is a very prolific and dangerous invasive aquatic plant that is now threatening the health of Bayou St John,” organizers say. “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.”
Organizers are looking for volunteers to help remove the plants from the bayou.