salvinia

This winter’s hard freezes are helpful in fighting the spread of the invasive aquatic weed giant salvinia that continues to choke area waterways. 

Researchers at Stephen F. Austin State University are working on a new control. Turns out, a compound found in the plant could be lethal to itself. That compound was discovered in an SFA pharmaceutical research lab that investigates anti-cancer agents found in native and invasive plants, according to Steve Bullard, dean of SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture.

The Red River Waterway Commission’s new research biologist is on the job. Allie Cozad's mission is to raise armies of giant salvinia eating weevils to release on infested areas of the Red River. She realizes it's an uphill battle.

“It takes a lot of weevil to do a lot of damage," Cozad said by phone, adding that the salvinia problem feels like job security as she starts her work as a commission employee.

Louisiana Rep. Patrick Williams (D-Shreveport) is trying to draw attention to the invasive aquatic weed giant salvinia that continues to clog many waterways in the state. He invited the inventor of the "WaterMower" to address the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment during a May 8 hearing. Williams said his constituents want to see results that go beyond chemical sprays and weed eating weevils raised in university research labs.