Department of the Interior
|Office of the Secretary
Contact: Anna Cherry
|For Immediate Release: Feb. 1, 2005
Nasa Joins the National Invasive Species Council
Washington, D.C., February 2, 2005 - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has become the 13th Cabinet agency to join the National Invasive Species Council. NASA's current work on maintaining the biological integrity of Earth and other solar system bodies along with work with remote sensing activities of Earth's biotic and abiotic environment from space will make it an invaluable addition to the council.
"Invasive species are
one of the greatest threats to our environment and wildlife," said
Interior Secretary Gale Norton. "NASA brings enormous technical
expertise and experience to the partnership of federal agencies combating
both the introduction and the spread of invasives. With NASA on board,
the council will be able to attack this ecological crisis with new technologies
"We at NISC are excited to have NASA join us in our efforts to coordinate federal activities on invasive species," said Lori Williams, NISC executive director. "They bring a great deal of technological experience and some outstanding tools to help further work on mapping and monitoring invasive species, among other activities."
NISC is a cabinet level council
that was established by Executive Order in 1999 to provide leadership
and to ensure complementary, cost-efficient and effective federal activities
regarding invasive species. Council members, in addition to NASA, include
three co-chairs: the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce,
and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury,
Transportation, Health and Human Services, as well as the Administrators
of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Agency for International
Development and the U.S Trade Representative. More information on NISC
is online at www.invasivespecies.gov.
"NASA will add a unique voice to the Council and help further the development of a broad, comprehensive approach to invasive species issues which often present a complex array of agricultural, environmental, health and economic issues across geographical and jurisdictional lines," said Williams.
Executive Order 13112 defines
an "invasive species" as both non-native (or alien) to the
ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely
to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health. Invasive
species can be aquatic or terrestrial; plants, insects, animals, pathogens
or parasites. It is important to realize that most non-native species
are not invasive. Non-native species are extremely important sources
of food, fiber and recreation. Only a small fraction of non-native species
that are introduced to a new environment become established and less
than 10% of those species are considered invasive.
This work is part of the Applied Sciences Program in NASA's Science Mission Directorate, which partners with public, private, and academic organizations to extend the benefits of NASA research to innovative solutions for decision support for applications of national priority, including invasive species management.
NASA's Science Mission Directorate works to improve the lives of all humans through the exploration and study of the Sun-Earth system, the solar system and the Universe. For more information on NASA and its work with invasive species see http://InvasiveSpecies.gsfc.nasa.gov or http://earth.nasa.gov/eseapps/theme10/htm.
Note to Stakeholders: Stakeholder announcements and other NISC information are available on the Internet at http://www.invasivespecies.gov/. For additional information on this topic, contact Anna Cherry at (202) 354-1891 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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