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Aquatic Invasive Species Open House at Boulder Library Auditorium, October 25

Release Date: 10/21/2005
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      Denver -- An open house and panel discussion on water monitoring and invasive species will be held at the City of Boulder Library from 4:30 p.m to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25th. This free event, celebrating World Water Monitoring Month, will highlight the importance of monitoring rivers, lakes and water resources in Colorado.

      Cosponsored by the Boulder Creek Watershed Initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the event will feature presentations and hands-on demonstrations from groups working on invasive species and water monitoring issues in Colorado. Opportunities for media include access to invasive species experts and presentations along Boulder Creek.
This World Water Monitoring Month event will focus on aquatic invasive species, an important, yet often overlooked ecological and water quality issue in Colorado. These rapidly reproducing organisms threaten one of our most basic and valuable assets – our ecosystems.

Invasive species are a growing problem worldwide. Over geologic time, plant and animal species evolved within isolated geographic regions to become distinct from one another. Now, and at an increasing rate, organisms travel more easily across former geographic boundaries. While some non-native species are introduced to new habitats intentionally, others are spread to new regions inadvertently through human commerce and travel.

Not all introduced species are harmful, but a small percentage of non-native species flourish and cause serious damage. As these species take over new habitats, native plants and animals are displaced and the distinct, regional nature of species composition is lost. In the West, our highly valued aquatic ecosystems are often the most vulnerable. Damage includes choking of streams by purple loosestrife, reduction of water tables and loss of wetlands by tamarisk, and loss of fisheries by the New Zealand mud snail.

In addition to altering ecosystem function and reducing biodiversity, invasive species also contribute to human disease and result in significant economic losses. The Ecological Society of America estimates these species cost the U.S. economy more than $137 billion annually, a staggering $1,300 per household.

While the stakes are high, we can act to protect our rivers, streams and wetlands. In Colorado, the vigilance of many public agencies and nonprofit organizations is preventing the introduction of invasive species and limiting the spread of established invaders. Improved biological monitoring of our aquatic systems and public education are critical tools in the early detection and response to these species. Come learn more about how these organisms are affecting Colorado's environment and what you can do to help manage the problem on October 25th.

Event Schedule, October 25th

4:30-6:30 PM Aquatic Invasive Species and Monitoring Open House
Boulder Public Library Gallery and Boulder Creek (1000 Canyon Boulevard)

USGS, Dr. Larry Barber, Modern instrumentation for monitoring stream water chemistry
Boulder County Watershed Initiative, Sheila Murphy, Mapping invasive species in Boulder Creek Watershed
City of Boulder, Laurie Deiter, Demonstration of Eurasian Water Milfoil
Colorado Division of Wildlife, Dr. Pete Walker, Demonstration of New Zealand Mud Snail
USGS, Dr. Sarah Spaulding, Demonstration of stream diatom, Didymosphenia
USGS, Water Quality Monitoring in Colorado, Steve Vandis
EPA, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, Kris Jensen & Tom Johnson, Determination of biotic condition in western streams
EPA, Water Monitoring Kits, Elaine Lai, Demonstration of water monitoring kits for citizens

6:00 – 7:00 PM Refreshments provided by Moe’s Broadway Bagels, Café Sole, and Breadworks
Boulder Public Library Gallery

7:00 PM Boulder Creek Watershed Initiative Forum- Boulder Public Library Auditorium
Panel Discussion: Invasive species in western streams
Dr. Sarah Spaulding, USGS, Harmful stream algae
Laurie Dieter, City of Boulder, Eurasian Water Milfoil
Dr. Peter Walker, Colorado Division of Wildlife, New Zealand Mud Snail

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