Friday, January 10, 2014

The environmental, and economic, costs of invasive species

Ignoring the impacts of ecosystem changes comes with a price tag 

By Alexandra Pecci
The New Hampshire Business Review

The tunicate is a spineless marine animal that’s better known by another name -- sea squirt, which sounds like a cute little creature that might be the best friend of a cartoon mermaid. But Larry Harris has a nickname for didemnum, one particular kind of sea squirt that is anything but cute.
"My term for it is the tunicate from hell,” says Harris, professor and chair of the department of biological sciences at the University of New Hampshire.

That’s because didemnum grow in thick, sheet-like colonies that cover moorings, pilings, float bottoms and anything else they can get a hold of. In New Hampshire, it’s a serious marine pest.
Didemnum is one of many non-native, invasive species that dominate the coastal waters of New Hampshire and New England. Invasive marine species like didemnum do more than simply take over their new environments.

“It does have economic impacts,” Harris says. “Everything from clogging intakes to cooling systems of water treatment plans to having a negative impact on aquacultures.” ...

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New York State DEC proposes regulatory changes to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species at boat launches

By WBNG News

(WBNG Binghamton) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing new regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species at DEC boat launches, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

The proposed regulatory changes require boaters to remove all visible plants and animals from boats, trailers and associated equipment and to drain boats before launching at or leaving a DEC boat launch and waterway access.

DEC will accept public comments on the proposal through February 24, 2014. Comments on the proposed regulations can be sent via e-mail to, or mailed to Edward Woltmann, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY  12233-4753. ...

Read the full story at link.

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