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Arundo Control and Restoration Program

Arundo donax is an invasive species introduced to California two to three centuries ago for a variety of uses. It is becoming increasingly widespread in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta and is devastating to riparian habitat. It outcompetes native riparian plant species, consumes much more water, does not provide nesting or foraging habitat for wildlife, weakens levees, increases bank erosion during flood events, and increases fire severity.

This project funds the Delta Conservancy to develop a delta-wide, long-term Delta Arundo Control and Restoration Program to treat Arundo infestations and restore native vegetation to improve habitat along the Delta waterways.

Mapping of Arundo infestations in the legal Delta has been completed as part of this project as well as development of a prioritization model to help planners decide where in the Delta to initiate control efforts. Before the Conservancy initiates a delta-wide program, DWR is funding the pilot project currently underway in the Cache Slough Complex to develop expertise in Arundo control, effective restoration techniques in the controlled areas, resource requirements, and landowner contacts to solicit their cooperation. This pilot project in turn builds upon experience gained and landowner partnerships developed during a small-scale Arundo control project on Hastings Cut between Lindsey and Cache Sloughs as part of the Solano County Delta Habitat Restoration Partnership. The successful cooperation between landowners, local Reclamation and Resource Conservation Districts, and State agencies is critical to developing a successful, long-term Delta-wide Arundo control program.