Invasive species pose a massive threat to waterways everywhere. The introduction of a non-native species into an environment that is not equipped to keep it in check can result in disastrous and widespread disruptions of the existing food chain.
Consequently, as responsible boaters we must do our part to stop the further spread of these destructive intruders. In this Mercury Quick Tip, we’ll show you how to ensure you don’t inadvertently transport any organisms from one body of water to another.
The threat is real even if the invader is small and seemingly innocuous, such as the zebra mussel. This small bivalve that arrived in the Great Lakes from Asia in ship ballast tanks in the 1980s has taken root in 23 states. Other aquatic stowaways plaguing North American waters include the spiny water flea, plants like hydrilla and water hyacinth, and even microscopic parasites.
For more information about invasive aquatic species and what you can do to help contain them, visit www.stopaquatichitchhikers.org or www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov.