PNS Daily Newscast - February 20, 2020 

Six Democratic presidential contenders face off in Nevada; and ballot security issues in play.

2020Talks - February 19, 2020 

Tonight's the Las Vegas debate, ahead of this weekend's Nevada caucuses. Some candidates are trying to regain the spotlight and others are trying to keep momentum.

Senate Looks at ‘Border Control’ For Tiny Invaders in CO Rivers

September 27, 2007

Washington, DC – A tiny invader is causing big trouble for several Colorado waterways. Erin Robertson with the Center for Native Ecosystems says the New Zealand mud snail isn't native to the state. But somehow, it's here -- and that's bad news for local fish and fishermen.

"A New Zealand mud snail will pass through a fish alive. This creates a sensation for fish that they have taken in food, but because the snail is undigested, the fish receive no nutrition and eventually starve."

Today a U.S. Senate committee takes up a bill to regulate ballast-water dumping from ships, which is the source of many invasive species' "free rides" into American waterways. Corry Westbrook with the National Wildlife Federation says the goal to stop insidious species by 2020 is not going to happen without important changes.

"While the bill on paper is nice, without proper enforcement and accountability that the expectations of the bill are followed through, it has no teeth."

Westbrook's concern is based on the fact that the Senate bill would effectively replace state laws about ballast-water dumping with a federal mandate, but contains no clear method for enforcement of the federal law. She also would like to see more resources for public education about the problem, as a critical part of prevention.

So far, a non-native species of water plant and the New Zealand mud snail have made their way to Colorado, disrupting river ecosystems and making it more difficult for some fish to survive. Westbrook worries that other invasive genus will infest Colorado rivers in the near future.

"Invasive species that are in other states will get to Colorado eventually. It just takes a little bit more time."

Eric Mack/John Robinson, Public News Service - CO