Thursday, July 26, 2007

Closed Waters

The Naples Daily News is reporting that residents of a neighborhood in East Naples, Florida are just about fed up with their water hyacinth problem and the county's apparent lack of interest in dealing with it. The invasive water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) has almost completely covered the surface of a set of private canals adjacent to a lower-income area in East Naples known as Port-au-Prince. Apparently the inaction by Collier County has to do with that word "private" - the county says they only maintain public waterways (So who the heck owns these canals and why aren't they stepping up?). Residents want the county to spray herbicide to control the aquatic weeds but the county is reluctant to do. It sounds like they will actually consider it but not on a regular basis and not unless someone finds a way to pay for it. In the meantime, residents are forced to deal with burgeoning mosquito populations and possible fish kills caused by all the stagnation that water hyacinth facilitates.

Interested readers will want to check out this article detailing a Port-au-Prince resident's efforts to convince Collier County commissioners to help out, as well as this plea from another resident. Thanks to thingfish23 of The Taming of the Band-Aid for sending in the link to the story.

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