CORVALLIS - From tiny, tenacious mollusks, to foreign grasses that choke lakes and streams, to voracious, exotic crabs, biological invaders are infiltrating waterways the world around.
A new video from Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University aims to help halt the invasion by teaching people the importance of early detection and response.
A 23-minute video called "You Ought to Tell Somebody!" presents an overview of the problem of invasive aquatic plants and animals and provides identification and information about one significant West Coast threat, the Chinese mitten crab.
Species evolve by adapting to their local habitats. New species, often introduced by human activity, can wreak havoc by disrupting ecological balance, crowding out native species and interfering with the food chain. "Invader" species can displace native plants and animals, dramatically change natural habitats and have profound impacts on the economy.
The Sea Grant video uses the story - and dramatic footage - of the Chinese mitten crab to illustrate how quickly new species can take hold in an area, and how difficult they can be to eradicate once that happens.
The video is aimed at those involved in water-quality monitoring, field educators, aquaculture operators and others who spend time in lakes, rivers and estuaries.
"You Ought to Tell Somebody!" catalog number ORESU-V-01-002, is available from Oregon Sea Grant for $18.95 plus shipping and handling; bulk discounts are available. For ordering information contact Oregon Sea Grant 541-737-2716 or (within Oregon and Washington) toll-free at 1-800-375-9360. The video may also be ordered through the Oregon Sea Grant Web site.
Oregon Sea Grant is an OSU-based ocean and coastal research and outreach program, part of a national network of Sea Grant College Programs organized under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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Paul Heimowitz, 503-722-6718