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Hurricane Floodwaters Spread Non-Native Freshwater Plants and Animals
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate may have spread non-native freshwater plants and animals into new water bodies, where some of them can disrupt living communities or change the landscape.

More than 1,270 freshwater aquatic species have been reported as found beyond their home ranges nationwide. Some have caused no obvious ill effects on their new habitats. Others, like the zebra mussels introduced into the Great Lakes, have caused damage to fisheries, shipping, water utilities and other industries.

To help land managers find and manage these flood-borne newcomers, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have created four online maps, one for each hurricane. These “storm tracker” map sets, on which users can see the potential spread of any of 226 non-native aquatic plant and animal species during the 2017 hurricane season, are available at https://nas.er.usgs.gov/viewer/Flooding/.



 
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Eliminating Leaching of Fertilizer Good for the Environment - Something we hear a lot these days is that water is going to become the next oil in terms of value as a natural resource. Not only do we need more water in some locations, but we need to protect what we have, whether we live and work in the sometimes soggy Great Lakes region, or the arid west. Greenhouse operators can’t do too much about acquiring more of this valuable resource, but they can protect what lies right under their feet.


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