To the Editor:

One reason my wife and I built in West Point was the rich wetlands ecosystem. Since we built six years ago, our shoreline and water views have disappeared. The habitats of the waterfowl and small shoreline and wetlands creatures have been destroyed by Phragmites, a non-native, fast-spreading and invasive bamboo-like plant that can grow to more than 19 feet in height and that chokes out native flora, destroys shoreline habitats and environments that support fish and wildlife.

The invasion surrounds the peninsula and extends to the drainage ditches on the west side of Kirby and the undeveloped lots between Kirby and the Pamunkey River.

Just cutting back the aboveground stalks of Phragmites will not stop the spread of the plant. The tools that West Point needs are easily accessible; helpful guidelines and resources are available from states and educational institutions.

Property owners may have a case for demanding lower property taxes since their water views no longer exist and their properties are not worth as much as they once were.

We are circulating petitions and creating a photo-journal of the Phragmites invasion. We trust that West Point's governing body will act to restore one of the attributes that make our town a great place to live, work and play.

George Cunningham

West Point