Louisiana has a long history of battling invasive species. One of them is giant salvinia. Aside from water hyacinth, it is one of the most problematic aquatic plants in Louisiana. It negatively impacts aquatic ecosystems by outgrowing and replacing native, helpful plants that provide food and habitat for animals and waterfowl. As a floating plant it blocks out sunlight and depletes oxygen concentrations. This proves harmful to fish and other aquatic animals. When native plant masses die, their decomposition and decay continues to lowers dissolved oxygen even further. Giant salvinia infestations expand extremely fast, and can actually double in size in a mere week's time... if the circumstances are right.
Though we wish giant salvinia did not exist in the swamps, educating ourselves and the public during our swamp tours and airboat tours about its impacts can be the first step in combating it and preventing other invasives from finding their way into the Atchafalaya Basin and other waterways.