Congressional Research Service review of federal laws and the role of federal agencies in controlling invasive species.
(2013) Congressional Research Service. It is estimated that 50,000 non-native species have been introduced to the United States. The potential economic costs associated with nonindigenous plant and animal species are estimated at $129 billion annually in the United States. A few examples of the types of damages attributed to non-native invasive species in the United States are as follows. Burmese pythons are multiplying in south Florida, becoming a top carnivore and killing large numbers of native species of reptiles, birds, and mammals. Zebra and quagga mussels from Eastern Europe are clogging intakes for urban water supplies and nuclear power plants in the Great Lakes and the Mississippi basin. The light brown apple moth, a native pest of Australia, has been detected in California and is causing damage to a wide range of plant species and commercial fruit and vegetable crops. Leafy spurge is lowering the forage value of western grazing land, and reducing overall land values.
In the United States, numerous federal and interagency efforts share responsibilities regarding invasive species. Among the federal agencies involved are the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation, and others, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Executive Office of the President. Of these, three Departments—Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior—play a major role by co-chairing the National Invasive Species Council (NISC). Created by Executive Order 13112 in 1999, NISC provides high-level interdepartmental coordination of federal invasive species actions and works with other federal and nonfederal groups to address invasive species issues at the national level.
In FY2012, the U.S. government spent an estimated $2.2 billion across a range of federal agencies and activities in an effort to prevent, control, and eradicate invasive species domestically.