LID 15 continues to address maintenance issues in Riverstone lakes and wetlands that are caused by nutria. Nutria are considered an invasive species, and in 2020 the District started a program to control their population in Riverstone. Nutria are more than a nuisance animal, as their burrows can cause stability issues with the levee. They also consume and destroy valuable wetlands vegetation that LID 15 is legally required to maintain under federal law. Due to potential risks to the levee, wetlands, and public health and safety, the nutria must be removed from the community.
The District is scheduled to perform additional nutria abatement March 6 – 7 during the overnight hours: 12:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. To successfully remove this invasive species from the community, pest control contractors must work late at night in public parks that are adjacent to homes and backyards. The contractors will be present in wetlands area around Riverstone and all personnel will be uniformed and clearly identifiable to residents. The District has also coordinated with the Precinct 3 Constable to patrol the area in case any residents are alarmed or unaware of this public notice.
The District appreciates the communities patience dealing with nutria issues and thanks residents for their understanding and consideration.
The development of Riverstone required a permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). As part of the USACE permit, the District is required to construct and maintain 25 acres of wetlands areas under strict federal requirements. The 25-acre requirement includes multiple wetland planting beds in the lakes throughout Riverstone. These wetland beds were purposefully created in the lakes to help improve water quality. Wetlands Park on LJ Parkway and the Cypress Bend area along the Club at Riverstone Trail also include protected wetlands.
There are a variety of “desirable” wetland plant species LID 15 must establish under the USACE permit, but the District is limited to the maintenance that can be performed on “undesirable” or invasive plants. With the recent hard freeze, many of the desirable plants are now dormant and have wilted. These wilted plants will remain in the wetland beds until the major risk of another hard freeze passes in about 6 weeks. However, as spring approaches this wilted material and any undesirable plants will be trimmed back and removed by hand. The maintenance contractor will also relocate desirable species from densely planted areas to help reestablish and improve aesthetics in other beds.