We shall now move on to the bane of Florida waterways all over the state (s). The lovely, yet “deadly” water hyacinth. This plant is not native to the USA, much less Florida. The plants were brought in, much to our dismay, as “gifts” from the Japanese in 1884 during the World’s Fair in New Orleans and soon took over, clogging rivers, killing fish and putting a halt to shipping in Louisiana for awhile. By this time, according to Wikipedia, there were over 50 Kilos per square meter choking Florida’s waterways.
|Over one hundred years ago...|
|As seen today, still a major problem|
|Hyacinths moving fast|
In 1910 the “New Foods Society” put forth the “American Hippo Bill, H.R. 23621." The plan was “to import and release hippopotamus from Africa into the rivers and bayous of Louisiana. The hippos would eat the water hyacinth and also produce meat to solve another problem at the time, the American meat crisis.” The bill fell short by ONE vote! Don't believe me? Look it up...
|Behind glass in an aquarium, yes.|
|No, no, no.|
Now, it seems, perhaps a real use for water hyacinth may be in the works. Biomass. I say, let’s make hyacinths work for us for a change!
|The flower is beautiful...|
|Not my idea of fun!|
I wonder what the ‘gaters and manatees would have done if the bill had passed and they’d had to live with hippos stomping up their territory.
|I'm not putting a canoe in that water.|
Don’t want to imagine having to look out for hippos when canoeing down the Suwannee River or any other river for that matter. Love bugs and hyacinths as invasive species are one thing, but hippos? No way!
|Now if they all looked this cute and stayed this small...!|
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