OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife wants people know about the dangers invasive aquatic species pose to the state's environment and economy.
Officials are urging residents to never release home or classroom pets, animals, or plants into the wild, such as rivers, streams, lakes, wetland sanctuaries, or storm water ponds.
The department says every year, people who think they are “doing a good deed” by releasing the former pets are unknowingly causing seriously harm to the environment and breaking state law.
Agent say many of the unwanted pets will not survive in the wild and may suffer before death. If they do manage to survive, it can harm the environment and economy.
Invasive species cost the United States billions of dollars each year. Some of the most devastating invasive species originally were sold as pets or plants for gardens, ponds, and aquariums.
Washington has many information sources available for people learn about aquatic invasive species, what they do to our native species, and how people can help stop the invaders.
To learn more and help stop the spread, click here.