Washington – Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) today took steps to eradicate water hyacinth, an invasive aquatic species taking over Delta waterways, after the House unanimously passed his amendment to H.R. 2898.
The amendment offered by Rep. McNerney would include water hyacinth in a pilot project included in H.R. 2898 to implement the invasive species control program.
“The unruly growth of water hyacinth affects the entire Delta region. It clogs waterways – preventing the movement of water through the Delta, negatively affecting farmers, recreational opportunities, and disrupting the natural ecosystem. These problems have only become worse due to the drought,” said Rep. Jerry McNerney. “I was pleased to see the House adopt my amendment to include water hyacinth in a pilot invasive species control program. We need to do everything possible to eradicate water hyacinth, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to make that happen.”
Water hyacinth can double in size every 10 days and its seeds can remain buried in sediment and viable for 20 years. In the Port of Stockton – the third largest inland port in the country – water hyacinth affects ship traffic, causing unreasonable delays that can cost importers approximately $200,000 in additional expenses.
Rep. McNerney previously helped to secure $1 million in federal funding to help an existing effort between federal, state, and local partners focused on managing water hyacinth infestation and this amendment continues to build off that work.
Click here to watch Rep. McNerney discuss his water hyacinth amendment on the House Floor.
While the amendment did pass, Rep. McNerney did not vote to support the overall H.R. 2898 legislation because its solutions fail to address California’s drought, while causing serious ecological and economic damage to the Delta region.
“While I was glad to see my water hyacinth amendment pass the House, I still could not support this Republican bill because it does nothing to solve California’s historic drought crisis. This bill would only damage a fragile ecosystem and hurt the local Delta economy,” said Rep. McNerney. “California is known for our technological innovation and we should be pursuing bold, forward-thinking solutions that create new water and don’t pit economies or regions of California against each other. We should be addressing water efficiency, storage, reuse and recycling, water management, innovative water projects, and a long-term approach to water shortages. I am working with my colleagues to that end, but I cannot support any legislation that doesn’t move us in that direction.”
Click here to watch Rep. McNerney speak in opposition of H.R. 2898 on the House Floor.
Rep. McNerney previously called out his GOP colleagues on how H.R. 2898 promotes destructive strategies with no concern for how this plan will reduce agricultural jobs and hurt local economies and industries across the Delta region.
Rep. McNerney is committed to pursuing and expanding innovative solutions that create more water to help California address its severe drought crisis. This includes calling on Congress to authorize 27 regional water recycling projects that can create water for irrigation, agriculture, conservation, and to increase the potable water supply.