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Protect Our Waters from Invaders

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

From zebra mussels in North Carolina to New Zealand mudsnails in Lake Tahoe, the battle is real. Take action to stop invasive marine species!

When we imagine our nation's lakes, rivers, and coastlines, we often conjure images of serene beauty and vibrant aquatic life. These ecosystems are the lifeblood of our nation, providing recreational opportunities, sustaining wildlife, and supporting local economies. However, beneath the surface, a silent threat looms.

Invasive marine species, unwelcome intruders from distant waters, are jeopardizing the very essence of our aquatic environments. This is a call to action. It's time to defend our waters and protect their vitality.

The Hidden Threat Beneath the Surface

Invasive marine species are aquatic invaders that wreak havoc on the ecosystems they infiltrate. These intruders, whether they are zebra mussels in North Carolina, New Zealand mudsnails in Lake Tahoe, or other invasive species across our nation's waters1, can have devastating consequences.

What's at Stake?

  1. Ecosystem Disruption: Invasive species disrupt native ecosystems by outcompeting local species for resources, disturbing food chains, and altering water chemistry. This disruption can lead to a decline in native biodiversity2.

  2. Economic Impact: Beyond their ecological toll, invasive species can also take a toll on our wallets. They clog water intakes, costing power plants millions to remove3. The damage to boats and infrastructure adds further financial burden.

  3. Recreation Threat: Boating, fishing, and other recreational activities are cherished pastimes across the nation. Invasive species pose a threat to these activities by damaging equipment and altering the natural habitats that attract outdoor enthusiasts4.

  4. Human Health Risks: Some invasive species can also pose risks to human health by contaminating water sources or spreading diseases5.

Our Waters Need Your Help

It's clear that invasive marine species pose a grave threat to our waters, but the good news is that you can make a difference. By signing the Pledge to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Marine Species, you're taking a stand for the health of our aquatic environments. You're committing to a set of actions that will help safeguard our waters from these invasive intruders.

Our waters are under siege, and it's up to each one of us to defend them.

Join us in this critical mission. Sign the pledge to prevent the spread of invasive marine species now. Together, we can ensure healthier ecosystems for all Americans.

More on this issue:

  1. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (22 September 2023), "Invasive Zebra Mussels Now Confirmed in North Carolina."
  2. Natasha Blakely, Great Lakes Now (D M Y), "Zebra Mussels: A guide to the good and the bad of these Great Lakes invaders."
  3. South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (7 July 2023), "Zebra Mussels Discovered in Sand Lake National Refuge."
  4. Sailors for the Sea (2023), "Invasive Species Prevention."
  5. Suzie Dundas, SFGATE (23 September 2023), "‘Very uncommon’: New invasive species found in Lake Tahoe."
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The Pledge:

I pledge to protect our waters and coastline from invasive marine species and uphold the health of our aquatic ecosystems.

Invasive marine species threaten the delicate balance of ecosystems in U.S. lakes and coastlines. They disrupt native species, alter food chains, and change water chemistry. These intruders can clog water intakes, damage infrastructure, harm recreational activities, and even pose risks to human health. It's crucial to combat their spread to maintain the vitality of our aquatic environments.

I pledge to take these 10 actions to prevent the spread of invasive marine species:

  1. Inspect Watercraft: Before entering any water body, I will thoroughly inspect my boat, kayak, or any equipment for hitchhiking invasive species.

  2. Clean Equipment: I commit to cleaning all equipment meticulously, removing any plant material, debris, or organisms.

  3. Drain All Water: I will ensure that all water, including live wells and bait buckets, is completely drained before leaving a water access area.

  4. Dry Gear: I promise to let all equipment, including life vests, dry completely to eliminate any remaining invasive species.

  5. Use Local Bait: I will only use locally sourced bait to prevent the introduction of invasive species from other regions.

  6. Dispose Responsibly: I'll dispose of unwanted bait, fish, and aquatic plants in designated areas, not in open waters.

  7. Stay Informed: I commit to staying informed about invasive species in my area and adhering to local regulations.

  8. Support Clean Marinas: I'll encourage and support marinas that implement measures to prevent the spread of invasive species.

  9. Educate Others: I pledge to share knowledge about invasive species and prevention methods with fellow boaters, anglers, and water enthusiasts.

  10. Report Suspected Species: If I encounter a suspected invasive species, I will report it to the relevant authorities promptly.

By taking these actions, I aim to ensure healthier ecosystems for all Americans. Together, we can protect our waters, preserve native biodiversity, and enjoy thriving aquatic environments for generations to come.

Pledged by,

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