Legislators seek help with hyacinth

The Stockton Record   ·   Link to Article

With Stockton’s water hyacinth invasion seeming to only get worse, San Joaquin County legislators on Friday asked state officials to request a “sustained funding source” from the federal government to fight back against the prolific weeds.

Our region already received $750,000 earlier this year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to seek more holistic and comprehensive solutions, beyond simply dousing the hyacinth with herbicides — a strategy that lately has not proved effective.

Friday’s letter asks California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross to request more money to come up with a longer-term plan and “protect the integrity of the California Delta.”

The letter was signed by assemblywomen Susan Eggman and Kristin Olsen, Assemblyman Richard Pan, and state senators Cathleen Galgiani and Tom Berryhill.

Earlier this summer, San Joaquin County Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller announced the initial $750,000 and the formation of a kind of task force ranging from county-level staff to the feds, even NASA. The goal was to collectively search for solutions.

But Ruhstaller noted at the time that additional money would be needed.

Friday’s letter notes that the state Division of Boating and Waterways has only limited resources to combat the pest and can apply herbicides only under “strict conditions” from state and federal regulators.