Sea Grant Extension fights aquatic invasive species

New national guidelines to keep classrooms from spreading invasive species.
OSU assisted on new national guidelines to keep classrooms from spreading invasive species. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

New guidelines help protect 24 million acres of public watersheds on the West Coast

Oregon’s coast and waterways are under siege by nonnative aquatic plants and animals that degrade habitats, displace native species and damage native ecosystems. These invasive species can quickly become serious threats to the economic and environmental value of the state’s coastal areas. Costs related to damage and control of invasive species exceed $138 billion per year throughout the U.S. (and nearly $400 million annually in Oregon just to control invasive species).

Oregon Sea Grant Extension led efforts with other federal and state agencies to develop early detection and rapid response guidelines and provide ongoing training for managers and leaders responsible for monitoring watersheds. The detection/response tools have been adopted as operational guidelines for interagency watershed monitoring activities from northwest Washington into northern California. This is the first formalized interagency adoption of aquatic invasive species detection and control guidelines.

OSU is also part of a national project on preventing school classrooms from releasing organisms from class activities that could become invasive, resulting in guidelines being placed in the Federal Register in 2014. 

Contact: Sam Chan, watershed health and aquatic invasive species specialist with Oregon Sea Grant

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