When Echo Park Lake reopened this summer after a two-year-long closure and clean up, the newly planted wetlands were thick with flowering plants and aquatic grasses. But those wetlands, which were planted earlier this year to help cleanse the water, have dramatically shrunk in size during the fall, with birds pecking away at the remaining stalks. Darrell Kunitomi and other park visitors have grown worried as the wetlands have withered away. “Only floating stalks remain around the lake, from south to north, all gone,” he said. What’s going on?
While some residents had feared Apple Snails may have damaged the plants, Cora Jackson-Fossett, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works, says the aquatic plants known as Arrowheads and the rest of wetlands are fine. They will return come spring:
The giant Arrowheads are dormant during the winter and aquatic birds called ‘coots’ are slipping through the nets and pecking away at the tops. However, the roots of the arrowheads are safe and the plants will sprout again in the spring.