As reported by Sign On San Diego, this week workers began clearing a swarth of giant reed (Arundo donax) that covers more than five miles of the San Luis Rey riverbed. Normally this type of removal project wouldn't be that newsworthy, but this project was stalled for more than 10 years! The reeds are so dense and populous that they act as a dam, and are considered an enormous flood hazard. Luckily, the permit hurdles and other barriers of bureaucracy were overcome before there was an actual flood. About $1.3 million has been allocated to the project so far, for the cleanup and an environmental impact report (there are two endangered bird species in the area). The Army Corps is also working on a flood control plan in the hopes of avoiding future problems. It was estimated that if a disaster had occurred it would have cost California $180 million in damages.