A couple of readers have ideas how to deal with the city’s perpetual water hyacinth issues.
Janis Kembel writes: “In northern Brazil, and southern Venezuela, there are rodents called capybaras that live in the Amazon River basin. They are the largest rodents in the world, and can be the size of a pig. During Lent, they are eaten because they are not considered meat. These furry creatures eat water hyacinths as the main part of their diet. What if several of these were imported, and placed in the Delta to live off of these pest plants ?? I would suggest that only males or females are brought because they reproduce like mice, and you would not want to be overrun by them. If they each have a GPS on them, they could be tracked… Who knows… this might solve the problem, or at least a part of it.”
Carol Gray writes: “I’m shocked that no one has stepped up to solve the water hyacinth problem in the delta. The water hyacinth have commercial value, especially in this central valley region. They could be used in the production of bio fuels and I believe there are several bio fuel production plants near Stockton and the delta. Your paper reports we import tons of fertilizer into the Stockton port from foreign countries for bio fuels. I would think that a grand bargain could be reached between Stockton and a local company with commercial interests in bio fuels that would benefit all concerned. They could also be used to make excellent fertilizer if harvested, and with all the farming going on in this region, I think this plant mass could be put to good use. (I would even think ground up it could be used as a feed?)”
Last year I wrote a story taking a look at some of these alternative uses. (Well — not the capaybara. First I’ve heard of those.) One woman I spoke with wanted to start a Hyacinth Festival.
Can’t hurt to brainstorm. Keep those ideas coming!