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FWS/NPAA: AQUATIC INVASIVES (fwd)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 13:21:05 -0600
From: Neal Foster <Neal_Foster@usgs.gov>
To: nealfost@umich.edu
Subject: FWS/NPAA: AQUATIC INVASIVES

     July 21, 1998                        Eric Eckl, FWS  202-208-5636
                                          Gordon Helms, NOAA  301-713-2370
     
     SENATOR GLENN LAUDED FOR WORK ON AQUATIC INVASIVES
     
     The interagency Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force has recognized 
     Senator John Glenn for his outstanding efforts to prevent and control 
     invasions of alien species.  The award was presented by the co-chairs 
     of the task force, Dr. D. James Baker, Under Secretary of Commerce for 
     Oceans and Atmosphere, and Jamie Rappaport Clark, Director of the U.S. 
     Fish and Wildlife Service, at a July 21 reception.
     
     "Senator Glenn has long recognized that invasive alien species such as 
     the zebra mussel and sea lamprey can have a serious impact on our 
     country," said Clark.  "The Senator was a moving force behind passage 
     of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 
     1990 and has worked tirelessly to call public attention to the problem 
     of invasive species."
     
     "Senator Glenn recognized an emerging environmental issue long before 
     many others," said Baker, who praised the Senator's vision on this 
     significant concern.  "When it would have been expedient to focus on a 
     single species, such as the invasion of the zebra mussel, he 
     recognized the importance of addressing the overall issue and taking 
     steps to prevent future invasions."
     
     Aquatic Nuisance Species -- an Economic and Ecological Threat
     
     "Introductions of nonindigenous aquatic species have been extremely 
     costly to our Nation, both economically and ecologically," Dr. Baker 
     added.  "For example, cities, power plants, and industrial facilities 
     in the Great Lakes region spend more than $30 million each year to 
     prevent zebra mussels from clogging water intake pipes."  Zebra 
     mussels attach themselves to any hard surface.  The U.S. and Canadian 
     governments spend $15 million annually to control another exotic 
     threat, the sea lamprey, which has had a serious impact on sport and 
     commercial fishing, which contribute $5 billion to the regional 
     economy.
     
     Clark emphasized the seriousness of environmental impacts of aquatic 
     nuisance species.  "Aquatic nuisance species are notorious for their 
     ability to devour or crowd out native wildlife," Clark noted.  "Alien 
     species have upset the ecological balance in many of our waters and 
     have played a role in the depletion of many fish and other aquatic 
     species in the United States."
     
     A Step Toward Prevention and Control
     
     Senator Glenn was the author of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance 
     Prevention and Control Act, which established the intergovernmental 
     Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and encouraged coordination and 
     cooperation among several Federal agencies.  The Act galvanized 
     Federal efforts to detect, prevent, and control invasive aquatic 
     species and earmarked millions in Federal funds for research needed to 
     support these activities.
     
     Many aquatic nuisance species have been introduced by ballast water 
     and the Act addresses ballast water as a pathway for new 
     introductions.  "Thanks to Senator Glenn's efforts, all ships entering 
     the St. Lawrence Seaway must now exchange their ballast water on the 
     high seas," Clark said.  "This greatly reduces the likelihood of 
     another pest like the zebra mussel invading Toledo, Chicago, or 
     Duluth."  The task force is also sponsoring research on other methods 
     of ballast water management.
     
     Members of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, established by the 
     Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act, include the 
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps 
     of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Coast Guard, and 
     the U.S. State Department.
     
     The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency 
     responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and 
     wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American 
     people.  
     
     NOAA is a Federal agency dedicated to predicting and protectiong our 
     environment.  Its mission is broad in scope:  to be the eyes and ears 
     of science in our atmosphere, in the sky, and under the oceans.
     
     For photographs of Senator Glenn, contact his Washington office at 
     202-224-3353 or one of his district offices:  Cincinnatti, 
     513-684-3265; Cleveland, 216-522-7095; Columbus, 614-469-6697; or 
     Toledo, 419-259-7592.
     
     For event photographs, contact Eric Eckl at 202-208-5636.
     
     
     -FWS-