Every day, large quantities of ballast water from all over the world are discharged into United States waters. Carried in this water are plants, animals, bacteria, and pathogens. These organisms range in size from microscopic to large plants and free-swimming fish. These organisms have the potential to become aquatic nuisance species (ANS). ANS may displace native species, degrade native habitats, spread disease, and disrupt human social and economic activities that depend on water resources.
The National Invasive Species Council (NISC) and its ANS Task Force websites have more information on Federal agency efforts. The Coast Guard is a member agency and has established a national Ballast Water Management (BWM) program.
Environmental Standards Division (CG-OES-3)
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
2100 Second Street SW
Washington, DC 20593