Science as Inquiry
How are these organisms ending up in environments so far from their homes? How can this be prevented? Read about it in MIT Sea Grant's information on ballast water, and find more background and related links on their main Exotic Species Page. Get up-to-date information from the USGS' Nonindigenous Aquatic Species, and research the species of your choice.
One of the most notable non-indigenous introductions is the zebra mussel, a native of eastern Europe. Zebra mussels were first discovered in 1988 in Lake St. Clair, Michigan. They have caused havoc by settling in and solidly clogging intake pipes for water treatment plants, as well as destroying entire colonies of native mussels. Follow the alarming spread of zebra mussels in the United States over the last decade with U.S.G.S. distribution maps. You can also do queries by state and see reports of zebra mussel sightings by county. Have they been sighted near you?
If you live on the East Coast of the United States, you can help
MIT Sea Grant scientists track and contain the spread of a new species of crab. Stop the alien invasions!
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