Wednesday July 26, 2023

Salem Reporter

The restorationists dragged their canoe onto the north shore of Minto-Brown Island and embarked on a slow walk around the shoreline, wearing waders and backpacks sloshing with herbicide. They left blue in their wake.

It’s the fourth, and hopefully final, year of herbicide treatment in an ongoing battle against Uruguayan water primrose, also called Ludwigia, in the Willamette Slough. The invasive plant spreads across the river and its long, impassable roots leech oxygen from it, altering the temperature and balance of the water.

Monday launched a week’s worth of treatment by the city of Salem and Willamette Riverkeeper, which participants said will be the least strenuous yet. An area that once used to be blanketed in the plant now has limited growth to address.

Boaters, swimmers and paddlers are advised to stay clear of the area during treatment, and for 24 hours after the last treatment on Friday, July 28.

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