It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week! That means it’s time to find out how we can be part of the solution and not add to the problem, which is serious and getting worse. According to a 2017 study, Washington’s economy and natural resources are being significantly harmed by invasive species, and the damage could become even greater if the problem is left unchecked. The study found that 23 species alone could cost more than $1.3 billion a year in Washington and a loss of 8,000 jobs.
In recognition of the harm invasive species can cause to our state’s economy and environment, Governor Jay Inslee joined the national invasive species awareness campaign and declared the week of February 26 as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington. According to a Washington Invasive Species Council press release, Governor Inslee encourages Washington residents to watch out for invasive species and to consider how we can contribute to protecting Washington’s resources from the impacts of these introduced pests.
One simple first step is to learn which species are most threatening so we can be sure not to spread them further. Information about Washington’s invasive species and more helpful actions we can all take are listed on the Washington Invasive Species Council’s Awareness Week Web page.
Read which invasive plants some local experts picked as their “favorites” in this entertaining and informative blog post from Forterra. What is your top pick for invasive plant of the year?
Learn more by visiting these websites:
- Invasive Species in King County
- Washington Invasive Species Education (WISE)
- King County Noxious Weed Control Program
- Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board