Invasive Species: Progress and Challenges in Preventing Introduction into U.S. Waters Via the Ballast Water in Ships

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Numerous invasive species have been introduced into U.S. waters via ballast water discharged from ships and have caused serious economic and ecologic damage. GAO reported in 2002 that at least 160 nonnative aquatic species had become established in the Great Lakes since the 1800s--one-third of which were introduced in the past 30 years by ballast water and other sources. The effects of such species are not trivial; the zebra mussel alone is estimated to have caused $750 million to $1 billion in costs between 1989 and 2000. Species ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 9, 2005.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Numerous invasive species have been introduced into U.S. waters via ballast water discharged from ships and have caused serious economic and ecologic damage. GAO reported in 2002 that at least 160 nonnative aquatic species had become established in the Great Lakes since the 1800s--one-third of which were introduced in the past 30 years by ballast water and other sources. The effects of such species are not trivial; the zebra mussel alone is estimated to have caused $750 million to $1 billion in costs between 1989 and 2000. Species introductions via ballast water are not confined to the Great Lakes, however. The environment and economy of the Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, and other U.S. waters have also been adversely affected. The federal government has been taking steps since 1990 to implement programs to prevent the introduction of invasive species from ships' ballast water discharges. However, species introductions are continuing. This testimony discusses the legislative and regulatory history of ballast water management and identifies some of the issues that pose challenges for the federal government's program for preventing the introduction of invasive species via ships' ballast water."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 9, 2005

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Invasive Species: Progress and Challenges in Preventing Introduction into U.S. Waters Via the Ballast Water in Ships, text, September 9, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293300/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.