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Environment

Grand Jury Looks At Problems Caused By Invasive Plant Species In Ventura County

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A new Ventura County Grand Jury report is calling on the county to do more to deal with an invasive species of plant which can potentially clog waterways, and squeeze out native species.

A type of plant which can grow as much as four inches a day, and can top 30 feet tall is growing out of control on two of Ventura County’s main waterways, the Ventura and Santa Clara Rivers. The Ventura County Grand Jury has been looking at the county’s problem with the non-native plants, which are called arundo.

The concern is that not only do the plants push out native species, they can grow so densely they can clog waterways, and lead to flooding during heavy rain. The Grand Jury says the county has $3.2 million dollars in its current budget to deal with the problem, but the report says it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to eliminate the plants.

The report calls on the county to develop a long term plan to deal with the arundo, and to work with the federal government on safe ways to do it.