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Invasive Species

"Invasive species represent the greatest threat to the native forests of the world. Period."
- Dr. Jerry Franklin, internationally renowned forestry expert and professor at the University of Washington

And not just forests. Invasive, non-native species are harming our forests, lakes, rangelands, coasts, farms, deserts, waterways, parks, and wild lands and hardly anyone has noticed.

However, alien invasive species have finally emerged as a top economic and environmental concern.


The recent increase in international trade following the implementation of the World Trade Organization in 1994 has caused imports to rise 82 percent. This has led to a corresponding increase in entry pathways for invasive species. More trade, without increased measures to prevent the introduction of invasive species, is a recipe for disaster.

Read the full Alien Invasive Species article in PDF format:
Alien Invasive Species

Ballast water is a major source of invasive species

Ships that load cargo in our ports often discharge ballast water that was loaded in distant ports. Unless preventive measures are taken, this discharged water can introduce invasive and pathogenic organisms into the waters of Washington State.

Washington State has enacted regulations that would reduce the introduction of these organisms, but the evaluation of the methods, requirements, and costs associated with complying with the regulations is an ongoing process.

Seattle Audubon is a member of the Washington State Ballast Water Working Group, which is working on these problems—one of which is a 2007 change in the law requiring that all ships discharging ballast water must use an approved method to reduce concentrations of invasive and pathogenic organisms.

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