Affect local economies of water-dependent communities
Our country's economy is intimately linked to the health of our aquatic resources. Fortunately, the pet and aquarium and nursery and landscape industries have recognized this and are doing something about it. The industries capitalize upon these significant benefits, particularly mom-and-pop retail outlets. However, they represent only two of the many sectors that rely on the health of our waters for their economic viability. Throughout the country, coastal towns and cities have developed along our large river systems, the Great Lakes and the shores of the Gulf, the Atlantic and the Pacific. Collectively, these waters create a vast transportation network that facilitates commerce and ultimately provide the economic life blood that supports water-dependent communities.
So, when aquatic invasive species like the sea lamprey, ruffe or round goby enter into the waters where these coastal gateway communities are situated, much is at stake. Jobs and dollars are only the tip of the iceberg. In addition to the potential for significant, long-term ecological harm, lifestyles and entire family generations can be impacted by harmful, non-native species.