Mysterious plants wash up near seawall in Galveston

Mayra Moreno Image
Friday, January 20, 2017
Mysterious plants wash up near seawall in Galveston
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Mysterious plants wash up near seawall in Galveston, Mayra Moreno reports.

GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- Residents in Galveston are wondering what is causing a mysterious material along the seawall.

Texas Parks and Wildlife said the "seaweed" looking material found along the seawall in Galveston is an invasive fresh water plant called a hyacinth.

The plant, native to South America, has been taking over the Houston bayou system. While it produces flowers, the plant blocks oxygen and sunlight which kills off aquatic life. It's also a nesting ground for mosquitoes.

"It looks gross, it doesn't make the beach look pretty," said Tanley Thayer, visiting from Colorado with her family.

The plant is a sight to see in Galveston right now, with mounds of it down the seawall for miles.

"This is a shock," said resident Billy Ray Wagner.

Aerial footage from SkyEye showed the material and its ant pile-like appearance along the beach.

"I'm from here and I don't know what it is," said Wagner. "It's rare."

Even visitors are intrigued and are stepping on it to take a closer look.

A spokesperson for Galveston said the water plant is very unusual to see.

However, while it's an eyesore for the island right now, Texas Parks and Wildlife said having it out of the water system is good news.