NEW ORLEANS — Some residents are taking the fight against an unsightly invasive plant on the bayou into their own hands. 

On Saturday afternoon, neighbors near Bayou St. John worked to reduce pockets of Giant Salvina, the weed that's starting to take over parts of the waterway. 

Giant Salvina is a familiar invasive species across most of Louisiana. It's non-toxic but large infestations can cause problems if it takes up too much oxygen in the bayou. Too much of the weed can hurt birds, fish and the ecosystem as a whole.

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To slow down the spread, people armed with shovels and racks took a few hours to hack away patches of the plant near the water's edge. 

While it won't solve the problem, one man said he's happy to see people take action. 

"It's just one piece. But it's great to see people take ownership over the bayou. And hopefully it'll lead to trash pick ups and all kinds of things to improve the quality of life around this neighborhood," the man said. 

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Officials have floated the idea of introducing a beetle that eats Giant Salvina into the bayou. However, the ideal fix would be one more hard freeze to kill off the plant in droves.