PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

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