Introduced Species in U.S. Coastal Waters - Environmental Impacts and Management Priorities


Introduced species are a growing and imminent threat to living marine resources in the United States. Hundreds of species arrive in U.S. waters from overseas each day, playing a game of ecological roulette with ecosystem and economic stability. These species arrive by way of ships’ ballast water and hull fouling, by fisheries activities, and by other means. Hundreds of introductions have occurred and non-native species now inhabit many coastal marine communities from the Hawaiian Islands to New England. Every assessment indicates that the rate of marine introductions in U.S. waters has increased exponentially over the past 200 years and there are no signs that these introductions are leveling off.

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