Volunteers Needed!

The Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Lake has become infested with invasive water lettuce. Small patches were noticed in early September and it has spread at an alarming rate. While it is unlikely that it can be totally eradicated, it can be kept in check.

Due to the coronavirus a large group event like our Haskell Creek cleanup cannot be held.  We need efforts by individuals and households to remove the Water Lettice. 

If you are interested in helping San Fernando Valley Audubon and other Wildlife Reserve stakeholders with clearing away as much of the water lettuce as possible, please watch the short video below and read the important volunteer guidelines before venturing out with rake and plastic bags in hand. Thank you.

SAFETY:

  • Observe social distancing and wear a mask.
  • Be cautious for yourself and others when you use tools.
  • Watch for slippery mud, plants with sharp ends and thorns, and roots to trip you.
  • Be alert for your safety and your family’s safety.  We can provide little if any supervision because of COVID.
  • Your safety is your own responsibility and at your own risk. 

HOW TO REMOVE WATER LETTUCE:

  • Wear rugged clothing and boots or shoes. 
  • Bring gloves; drinking water; leaf rake or stiff rake plus old pool net; and large trash bags.  (On weekend mornings there may be trash bags and a few rakes and nets available to borrow.)
  • Walk to the Wildlife Lake with your equipment and find a location where you can stand next to the water.
    • Do not enter the water.
    • Do not trample plants.
  • Rake Water Lettuce toward the shore.  If using a stiff-tined rake, scoop it up with a net. (If you have a pool scooper that is expendable and has a deep pouch and extendable pole, it would make an excellent implement.)
  • Let the water drain and place Water Lettuce in a large trash bag. 
    • Leave the plants whole, including their roots, the fuzzy stuff.  Do not cut them.  They can regrow from pieces left behind.
    • Pick up and bag what you drop.  Small WL plants will grow once they’re back in the water.
  • When the bag is full, move away from shore and drain out water.
  • Take the bag to the edge of the main path.  Take care you don’t block the path.
    • If possible, label bag NOXIOUS WEEDS to avoid anyone returning plants to lake.
  • If you are not too exhausted, repeat, filling another bag.
  • Remove any green stuff from your boots/shoes to avoid spreading Water Lettuce to the LA River or other body of water when you are finished. 
    • If you will wear your boots or shoes again within two weeks, please wash them off, but not near a storm drain.
  • Share your effort by posting photos on San Fernando Valley Audubon’s Instagram or Facebook.

Again, we thank you and the unique, precious Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve thanks you.

BEFORE AND AFTER — WE CAN BEAT THIS THING BUT GOTTA KEEP ON IT!