I grew up less than an hour away from the Delta and never knew it existed. How could I have missed a thousand miles of sloughs teeming with flora and fauna? The oversight is amended this year as I explore the Delta in my gunkholer sloop. What I've seen most, is water hyacinth.
Hyacinth are the rigid waxy green tubes with broad leaves and delicate purple flowers floating tall on the water. It is a beautiful plant, and the scourge of the Delta.
It doubles in size every two weeks and like any successful organism, doesn't know when to stop. One plant becomes a carpet dense enough to walk on. The light and oxygen block kills fish and turtles, and prevents boat traffic.
Some marinas mow the plant and shoo it downstream, ultimately to Stockton, where it multiplies like Fantasia Mops. The weed scientists call that physical control.
In May 2010 the USDA released a bug that eats Hyacinth, but won't know for years if new problems are created by this non-indigenous species.