Arundo Donax was introduced to California in the early 1800s to be used as a roofing material and for erosion control in the canals. It is a reed that can grow to 20 feet or more. However, it grows in very dense stands, chokes off and kills other plant life and is unsuitable as a food source or nesting habitat for animals. Besides severely damaging the natural ecosystem, it can also clog stream flows; and is a tremendous fire hazard.
With the support of the San Diego River Foundation, California Fish and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Departments, DPW is working with crews of the California Conservation Corps to clear large stands of this fast-growing reed. CCC crews cut the reeds nearly to the ground, haul away the stalks, and then spray to prevent growth from reoccurring. Once an area has been cleared, it is replanted with more suitable trees such as cottonwood, willow, and sycamore returning the site to its natural environment.
Clearing out this environmental menace and fire hazard is another example of DPW – Working for You.