PNS Daily Newscast - April 23, 2018 

The Waffle House shooter had an earlier weapons arrest near the White House. Also on our Monday rundown: new eviction data underscores America’s affordable-housing crisis; plus we will take you to a state where one county is putting juvenile justice under public health.

Daily Newscasts

Oregon Waterways Under Invasion

October 22, 2007

Portland, OR – Oregon waterways are under attack from invasive species, non-native plants and animals that could damage the state's recreation, tourism and fishing-related industries.

These pests enter local waterways by hitching a ride in the ballast water of oceangoing ships, or on boats that have been moved from different areas of the country. Congress is considering legislation to crack down on non-native species by restricting ballast water dumping, and Phyllis Windle with the Union of Concerned Scientists says the sooner, the better. Invasive species already cause $5 billion a year in economic damage in the United States.

"Oregonians can expect, if they receive organisms with similar negative impacts, that there will be costs to utilities, fisheries, water quality. Aquatic invaders have those costs, plus others, and none of us escape once these sorts of organisms arrive."

Windle explains almost half of the plants and animals on the federal list of endangered species are there, at least in part, because their native habitats have been choked or overrun by invasive species. Newly introduced into the environment, the invaders have no natural enemies -- and thrive accordingly.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1578, has passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; a House companion bill (HR 2830), is part of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2007. Windle says the proposal isn't perfect, but it's a good first step in dealing with a problem that becomes more expensive every year.

Dondrea Warner/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - OR