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RE: Environmental Concerns
"I don't want to see more aquatic plants banned, but I also don't want to
see beautiful native aquatic plants become extinct due to introductions.
(EVERY threatened or endangered aquatic plant species in Massachusetts is
in that position because of one or more introduced species!)"
You're not entirely wrong, Karen, but consider this:
20,000 years ago when Massachusetts was covered by an ice sheet, every one
of the currently threatened or endangered aquatic plant species that you are
concerned about was living somewhere else--probably the Carolinas. With
gradual warming came the gradual introduction of those species without the
assistance of hobbyists or sportsmen and without action by any kind of
The warming continues but much, much more rapidly. As I'm sure you've
noticed. If rapid warming continues--and who is stopping it?--The exotics
will become MA natives and the MA natives will become exotics somewhere
else--probably Quebec. Whether or not this or that piece of legislation
banning introductions becomes law. Whether or not it's enforced.
Lawmakers who address only species introductions and who don't take on the
bigger issue of global warming are just shoveling sand against the tide.
Typically, the excuse is that local authorities can control introductions
but have no power over global warming, but that is nonsense. If you can't
address the warming, then you can't address the introductions. Period.
Steve Gates in subtropical Memphis where we've gone another year with no
real Winter, and where fireants are introducing themselves.