Stockton Mayor Suggests Manatees for Hyacinth Problem

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Contradicting ideas on how to deal with the water hyacinth in Stockton are taking center stage.

Mayor Anthony Silva shares his vision on how he believes manatees could free up much of the congested port.

With no clear way to see through the water hyacinth problem in the Port of Stockton. “My job is to figure out every possible solution to a problem,” Mayor Silva said.

Mayor Anthony Silva is working to find some possible, creative solutions. Like re-purposing the plant as furniture.

“I’m trying to figure out, how do I contact those corporations and say, ‘Hey, do you want some free water hyacinth?’”

Or – one that’s getting the most attention – bringing manatees to the Central Valley.

“A few people talked about different kind of animals that eat that hyacinth,” Silva said. “And the first one is the manatee.”

Manatees are native to Florida, they eat quite a lot but there are some limitations.

“Manatees would probably be killed by the propellers from the boaters like they are in Florida,” County Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller told FOX40. “They don’t eat enough even if you got all 2,000 or whatever are in Florida and brought them here.”

And unfortunately, they’re endangered. There are only 5,000 left in Florida and the colder Delta water may prove fatal for the gentle giant.

But as the Mayor explained, bringing them here is not a hard objective.

“These are just possible ideas,” Silva said.

Another issue – the hyacinth is now turning brown. This is an indication that it will be dying off soon which may pose another challenge — whether to remove the plant or let it sink to the bottom.

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