What is a water weed?
Wetlands and waterways in the Strathfield area are at a high risk from invasive weed species. Water weeds disrupt the aquatic environment by covering water surfaces, reducing light penetration and decreasing dissolved oxygen, which lead to a decline in fish numbers and overall health of the system. They can impede stream flows, which may obstruct irrigation channels, increase sedimentation, alter hydrological regimes and, increase flooding frequencies. Introduction of waterweeds and algae affect regional waterway biodiversity by reducing native water plant species and cause issues such as:
- Potential recreational swimming hazards
- Limited of fishing, boating and sailing areas
- Degradation of native flora and fauna
- Decline of aesthetic landscape values.
- Human and animal health problems
The identified targeted water weed species of threat to the Strathfield Council area include:
- Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)
- Salvinia (Salvinia molestra)
- Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
- Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)
Possible water weeds incursions are not only limited to naturally occurring water courses and wetlands but include manmade infrastructure such as golf courses, Chinese gardens and fish ponds.