Press Release

Congressman Cuellar Secures $5,000,000 to Control Carrizo Cane and other Invasive Species Along the Rio Grande

Efforts support the environment while helping border patrol secure southern border

Washington | Dana Youngentob, DC Press Secretary (202-340-9148), April 4, 2022

Washington, DC—Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) secured $5,000,000 and language to speed the control and removal of Carrizo Cane and other invasive species along the Rio Grande. This is a continuation of Congressman Cuellar's years-long leadership on this environmental and security issue.

The funding is included in the FY22 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

“I have long been concerned about the impact of Carrizo cane and other invasive plant species along the Rio Grande,” said Congressman Cuellar. “In addition to providing those attempting to cross our southern border with a place to hide, Carrizo cane chokes waterways, erodes banks and water canals, damages bridges, and inhibits native biodiversity. The recently passed omnibus appropriations bill includes language directing USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to continue to coordinate with CBP, Department of the Interior, the International Boundary and Water Commission, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, other stakeholders, and the Government of Mexico on efforts to control Carrizo cane and other invasive species along the Rio Grande River.”

Carrizo cane is a fast-growing invasive plant species that has spread along the banks and floodplains of the Rio Grande River, providing favorable habitat for agriculturally damaging cattle fever ticks and threatening water supplies for agriculture. The cane can reach a height of over 25 feet in as little as 12 months and presents considerable obstacles for national security and the protection of our 1,255-mile Rio Grande border by reducing visibility within enforcement areas for the U.S. Border Patrol.