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Invasive Species Cost Us $138 Billion per Year

Be careful what you allow to grow in your heart or your soul. Sin, like invasive species, can lead to consequences we never intended. Here are a few examples of the cost of invasive species from the natural world:

  • In 1884, a farmer visiting the Cotton States Exposition in Louisiana brought back a few Venezuelan water hyacinths to decorate the fountain outside his home in Florida. Today, the aggressive purple flowers choke 126,000 acres of waterways.
  • Kudzu, a Japanese vine imported in 1876 to prevent erosion, is currently spreading through the southern United States and expanding at a rate of 150,000 acres a year.
  • The European rabbit, introduced to Australia in 1859, has reached a population of over 200 million, necessitating the construction of a 2000-mile long rabbit-proof-fence to prevent the wholesale destruction of farmlands.
  • In 2011, the sighting of a single Asian carp in Lake Michigan had everyone from the National Wildlife Federation to the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers close to panic. Originally imported to control the spread of algae in Arkansas fish farms, these giant carp escaped into the Mississippi River and began making their way steadily northward after the great flood. They now threaten to crowd out smaller fish and destroy the local fishing industry. This after the sea lamprey invasion of the 1920s and 1930s devastated the Great Lakes trout catch by 98% by the early 1960s.

In the United States alone, containment costs of invasive species are estimated at $138 billion annually.

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