Welcome to Aquatic Invasions! A Menace to the West, a resource for teachers, informal educators, parents and students on aquatic invasive species.

The materials found here were designed to teach K-12 students how invasive species (like this Japanese shore crab that arrived on the Oregon coast via tsunami debris in 2011) can do untold damage when they move to new territory. Kits, resources and full lessons are available.

A Curriculum for Learning and Action on Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasions! A Menace to the West is a product of the West Coast Sea Grant WISE Program, and includes a comprehensive curriculum of STEAM-based lessons, species guides and activities intended to help educators integrate aquatic invasive species learning into their classrooms, outdoor school, zoo programs or camps. 

Why aquatic invaders? Aquatic invasive species are not just interesting organisms that pique students' interest; they represent a lens through which we can understand other processes in our world such as water quality, climate change and globalization.

Accessible, hands-on learning. Teachers and students need not look further than their school yard, stream or local estuary to find an example of an invasives species that is affecting their community. Surrounded by invaders, students have an opportunity to take action.

Student empowerment. Aquatic invasive species affect and respond to other critical issues of concern to our society, such as human health, climate change and healthy land and water. Addressing invasives species offers a way for students to take some small actions that can make a big difference in their local community.

Hands-on specimens and resources available. Teachers in Washington, Oregon and California can borrow a limited number of suitcases packed with preserved aquatic invasive specimens and other materials to help their students work through these lessons and other aquatic invasive species learning activities.