It's hard to believe that a mollusk the size of a fingernail could cause multimillion dollar problems for coastal resource managers and industries, and dramatically alter an ecosystem. Great Lakes states, unfortunately, have the firsthand experience with such creatures to assure us the problem is real.
While there are numerous examples of nonnative species creating havoc with our environment, the tiny zebra mussel focused national attention on the issue of invasive species after it was first discovered in Great Lakes waters in 1988. The cover story of this edition of Coastal Services focuses on how the states in that region are working together to address the zebra mussel, and help prevent future invasions.
Invasive species are just one of the issues coastal managers will be addressing in the future. The upcoming date change is inspiring a special edition of Coastal Services for January/February that will look at accomplishments of coastal managers over the past 10 years and will look ahead to the issues we will be facing in the coming decade.
To get an idea of what our nation's coastline will look like a quarter of a century from now if current trends continue, you may want to participate in an Internet town meeting on America's coastal future.
People from around the nation with an interest in coastal and ocean issues are working together to create a vision for sustainable coastal communities. The Internet town meeting is an excellent opportunity to share your views on the future of America's coasts. Visit the site at http://coast2025.nos.noaa.gov.
The site provides information on past and projected trends that are shaping the coast, outlines the vision, and gives you the opportunity to share your perspective on critical issues, such as coastal hazards, growth, water quality, and fishery resources. National results from the dialogue are continually updated on-line.
Your participation will help chart our course for the next 25 years.
-- Margaret A. Davidson