The Greater Caddo Lake Association of Texas (GCLA) “Salvinia Action Committee” was formed in October of 2013. The goal was twofold — First, to have as many Caddo-focused organizations as possible on the same page, with the same plan, pooling resources and driving in the same direction to manage the Salvinia. The second, to educate and inform citizens and groups about the effectiveness of the Giant Salvinia Weevil.
The first step in our collective journey to manage the Salvinia is to establish a greenhouse to grow and maintain the Weevils. A blueprint for a Weevil greenhouse has been developed along with a budget to build and equip it. A timeline has also been developed to have the operation in production by the end of April 2014. Finally, a budget for all start-up and first-year operations has been completed.
In early November, the Salvinia Action Committee began systematically approaching area organizations and municipalities to secure funding. To-date the following funds have been raised: GCLA Bar-B-Q – $11,000.00, GCLA -$21,000.00, Cypress Valley Navigation District – $10,000.00, Harrison County – $12,000.00 COMMITTED, Caddo Lake Institute and Coco Hudson $35,000.00.
The Greater Caddo Lake Association of Texas has secured a site for the weevil production facility at Caddo Lake and construction is underway. David and Sarah Smith Owners of Shady Glade Resort have agreed to provide a section of the popular resort marina and boat launch to house the facility.
A significant donation has been made by the family of the late Morley Hudson and we are proud to name the Greenhouse after the local man who loved the lake and lived for many years on Pine Island Pond.
Delong Tree Service has donated his services to clear trees on the property and Michael Nash of Nash Trucking and Matt Munden have provided the site dirt and preparation equipment. Mr. Gene Weaver has spent many hours spreading the dirt and preparing the pad. Paul Fortune of Fortune Construction and Ross Slone of Slone Construction have agreed to oversee the building of the Giant Salvina tanks and other equipment needed to finish out the construction. Davlyn Hollingshead has donated her services to manage our webite.
The greenhouse walls are up, electrical and plumbing installation is in progress and tanks are being constructed to hold the salvinia and weevils.
I would like to give special recognition to our “Weevil Action Committee” members. Board member Ted Barrow is managing the job site construction and all related matters. Stella Barrow and Jan Cook are managing public relation efforts such as facebook and website content and coordinating town meetings soon to be held in Jefferson and Marshall. Doug Parker has managed our finances and started the formation of a new 501c3, (Caddo BioControl Alliance), to manage the project going forward. Robert Speight has helped with greenhouse design and grant application paperwork. Patty Webb has been a member of the “Action Committee” and helped whenever called upon.
Special thanks also go out to Lee Eisenberg of Texas A&M for consultations with us on all Weevil related matters. Without Lee’s knowledge our goal would not be attainable.
Negotiations are under way with the Texas Parks and Wildlife to obtain an Exotic Species Research Permit so a partnership can be formed, as begin operation of the first high production weevil greenhouse anywhere in the world.
GCLA has “tunnel vision’ on our goal of releasing as many weevils on the lake as soon as possible to stop the attack being carried out by the “world’s most aggressive weed”.
We have posted a list of debatable items on our website and Facebook pages. Those wishing to help can visit our website at www.GCLAofTX.com and Facebook page at “Greater Caddo Lake Association”.
We are extremely gratefully to our members and all the entities, companies and individuals who have given their money, time, sweat and prayers to make our vision a reality, and we will continue to keep you posted on our progress.
President Greater Caddo Lake Association of Texas