Salinas River Watershed Arundo Control Program
The Salinas River watershed has the second-largest infestation of non-native Arundo donax in California (apx. 1,500 acres). Arundo is a bamboo-like grass that forms dense stands and can grow over 30 ft tall. It crowds out native vegetation, reduces wildlife habitat, consumes large amounts of water, and increases the risk of both fire and flooding.
The RCD of Monterey County is working with private landowners, the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s office, Monterey County Water Resources Agency, The Nature Conservancy, DENDRA Inc., and others to implement a program to remove Arundo and other non-native invasive plants along the Salinas River and restore native vegetation.
Phase I of the Salinas River Arundo Control Program, supported by the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, began in 2008 with 50 acres of Arundo removed between King City and the Monterey/San Luis Obispo county line.
With funding from the California Wildlife Conservation Board, Phase II of the project began in Fall 2014 with Arundo removal on 109 acres of private land between Greenfield and King City. Phase III, funded by an additional grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board, will treat an additional 350 acres downstream of Phase II. The goal of the program is to eradicate Arundo within 20 years (~1500 acres over 90 miles of river).
The RCDMC is leading the Arundo Control Program with roles that include fundraising, securing and administering required permits, recruiting landowners into the program, overseeing the implementation of weed control activities on private lands, providing biological monitoring of treated areas, and coordinating financial and technical assistance for private landowners interested in performing their own control efforts. Landowners interested in participating in the Arundo Control Program should contact the RCD.