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Maryland Falls Victim to Harmful Invasive Species
Executive Order 13112, which created the National Invasive Species Council, defines invasive species as “… an alien, or non-native, species whose introduction does, or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” Invasive species can range from microscopic plankton to mammals, reptiles and even fish, but regardless of size, they all can pose a serious threat to local ecosystems.

Invasive species are problematic because they can aggressively establish themselves very quickly after introduction, and often end up in direct competition with native species. Because of this, invasive species can quickly and dramatically alter natural habitats and displace native flora and fauna species. In the U.S. alone, 45 percent of species that are listed as rare, threatened or endangered are designated into this category in part due to invasive species.

Maryland has a number of invasive species, such as the northern snakehead, blue catfish, flathead catfish and nutria. Many have either traveled here from surrounding states or have been accidentally introduced, such as aquatic animals in ballast water or insect larvae in plant shipments.

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Long Island Sound, An Ecosystem in Crisis - The Long Island Sound is sending out distress signals from its dead zones. The Sound is at a crossroads and its future health is at stake, a jigsaw puzzle of problems contribute to the Sound’s plight, from the hundreds of sewage plants discharging pollutants, to the nitrogen escaping tens of thousands of private septic systems, to the chemical runoff from farm and lawn fertilizers flowing into its waters.

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