Washington possesses great natural beauty and biological diversity-both important sources of economic strength. However, the state’s native species are threatened by invading plants and animals. As travel and trade increase, the risk of new invasions also increases.
Invasive species exact a high price from both society and nature. Below are just some examples of the costs we all pay:
- Cost Americans more than $137 billion a year.
- Impact nearly half the species listed as threatened or endangered.
- Can devastate key industries including seafood, agriculture, timber, hydro-electricity, and recreation.
- Impede recreation such as boating, fishing, hunting, gardening, and hiking.
- Spread easily by wind, water, animals, people, equipment, and imported goods.
- Increase frequency and intensity of wildfires and livestock poisonings.
- Destabilize soil and alter hydrology of streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands.