Environmental security tends to focus on the dramatic, partly because of the immediately obvious effects. Meanwhile, decidedly nondramatic actions pose potentially greater long-range threats. One such subtle or nondramatic action would be the intentional introduction of invasive species that would be capable of markedly altering functional characteristics of a critical ecological system (e.g., coastal wetlands, interior croplands, and interior waterways). The effects from an insertion of an invasive species might require several years before being realized; and then the costs of containing or rehabilitating the affected ecosystems may be prohibitive. Regulatory procedures to thwart the spread of invasive species vary considerably among jurisdictions. Both the patchwork regulatory status and the relatively poor underlying scientific/technical understanding of invasive potential provide major challenges to managing this problem. Observations from a recent ASTM symposium on invasive species and activities within the ASTM Standards Development process to address this issue are presented.
KeywordsInvasive Species West Nile Virus Exotic Species Zebra Mussel Ballast Water
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