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Oregon Groups Join National Call to "Weed Out" Invasive Species

April 24, 2007


Portland, OR - As Oregonians return to their favorite parks and waterways this spring, there are growing signs of damage from invasive species like garlic mustard and zebra mussels. Three Oregon groups have signed onto a national call for federal action on invasive species. Corry Westbrook with the National Wildlife Federation says there's a growing threat to native species, water supplies, and commercial fishing, and people across the nation need to be educated.

“[We are] reminding people to wash their boats if they're transporting it from one water body in one state, such as the Great Lakes, into an Oregon lake to try to reduce movement of invasive species.”

A statement signed by over 100 groups calls on Congress to control ballast water on Great Lakes shipping, boost detection efforts, and form a "rapid response" system to contain new threats.

Westbrook adds that invasive species are the number two threat to endangered species in the United States, and they cost about $120 billion a year.

“Places that have big shipping ports have been suffering for a long time with aquatic invasive species. Whatever comes into these ports eventually ends up in every single state.”

Oregon Wild, The Association of Northwest Steelheaders, and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation have joined the National Wildlife Federation and signed on to the statement to Congress.

Dondrea Warner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - OR