Have to Go Green: Genetic Pollution

Grace Limoncelli: Grade 8

Lately, I have been thinking about articles for the green column. Surprisingly, the topics are limited. Today, I was searching for little known subjects and found a field that is not normally discussed. This case is genetic pollution.

Many do not see the hazards in invasive species. America is a country of immigration. It is centered in our very values that it is okay to move away from one’s homeland. This, however, is not good for species of animals and even plants. Usually the environmental contamination occurs when a traveler brings an exotic critter with him or her from its native land to be sold in a place where the creature is rare and highly desired. Much trouble has been caused for native species through this. The alien animal often becomes a harm to the habitat in which it is moved. For example, the Northern Snakehead fish has posed a great problem in our country. It was brought here as a food fish and quickly became a vicious predator. The problem started in Crofton, Maryland, in 2002, and since then, after evasive action and multiple sightings, officials worry the fish are at risk for endangering the ecosystems of the Great Lakes.

So what used to be the harmless spread of a species for the food industry has become a major issue. Although genetic pollution does not receive much press, it is a huge environmental problem.


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