The official website of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
The Importance of Native Species

"Alien,""exotic,""non-indigenous,""non-native," or "introduced" species are those moved far beyond their natural ranges by human activities.

What's so important about native plants?

Native plants grew here prior to European contact. The watershed's native plants co-evolved with native people, animals, fungi and microbes, to form the best match for this environment. These plants are the foundation of this entire natural community and form the base of the food chain that impacts every animal within the watershed.


Aquatic Invasions

Aquatic species are transported between bioregions by activities such as commercial shipping and oyster culturing, and can spread within a region due to local boat traffic and dispersal of larvae on currents. Biological invasions of marine habitats, and particularly estuaries, are occurring at an accelerating rate. The ecological threats posed by some alien species rival those of pollution or anthropogenic habitat destruction, and are among the greatest resource management challenges for estuarine ecosystems. Once widespread and abundant, aquatic invaders are extremely difficult, if not impossible to eradicate. However, if they are detected soon after initial establishment, removal efforts can be successful. Such management depends on early detection of new invasions within this window of opportunity. Find out about aquatic invaders and how you can keep watch for these least-wanted species.


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This site is maintained by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation in partnership with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve