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Vetiver System Applications in California

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For 11 years Doug Richardson has been quietly introducing the Vetiver System for slope stabilization and erosion control in southern California in the Santa Barbara area. He has over 60 projects now and they show just how effective vetiver can be. We have received over the years a lot of flack about the potential invasiveness of vetiver grass, particularly by botanists. In 11 years Doug has seen no evidence of invasive behavior of this Sunshine cultivar of vetiver grass. This confirms evidence from PIER (Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk) assessment that vetiver grass has a very low risk factor of minus 8. Even the most stringent countries will allow imports of plants with a plus 1 risk assessment.

As shown in the images that Doug has provided vetiver will stabilize steep slopes, stop slides, protect roads from sediment flows (thus reduce maintenance costs) and at the same time look beautiful and green when most other plants are dried up.  These are only just a few of the applications of this unique plant.  It can also be used for levee stabilization, mine tailing reclamation, and the treatment of contaminated water and land.  

Californians, this System is just made for you at this uncertain time of climate change.
Thank you Doug for leading and showing us the way.

Dick Grimshaw


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