EcoTexas is a nonprofit organization that encourages friends and neighbors to take action to reduce the threat of invasive species to our community. Making a difference is easy as there are many ways to help out. Join us in our attempts to lessen the threat invasive species pose to our precious ecosystems.
EcoTexas is a nonprofit organization working to promote the integrity and sustainability of our local community by reducing the threat of invasive species to Texas. It was founded in 2007 after teenagers in Austin learned about the far-reaching threat posed by invasive plants and animals and came together to protect the Texas we know and love. After involving thousands of volunteers to clear hundreds of acres of parkland of invasive plants, including a full restoration of the famous Zilker Preserve, EcoTexas continues its hard work. To this end, we are currently beginning several projects to education the young people of Texas about invasive species, campaign against the detrimental sale of such species, better network the efforts of other groups that seek to remove invasive plants from Texas parks and preserves.
Fundamentally, EcoTexas works to protect Central Texas from the threat of invasives because these plants and animals threaten the very heritage of our community. As more non-native plants are introduced to Texas, these plants spread throughout the state and begin to choke out native plants. If nothing is done to stop this, our forests will begin to look more and more foreign -- indeed, our great state will begin to resemble more Japan, China, or Russia and less Texas. EcoTexas is confident that if we come together as a state, we can ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able to play and picnic under the same oak trees that we did, as opposed to invasive bamboo or ligustrum.
However, EcoTexas' efforts to combat the spread of invasive species are also important because the spread of invasive species poses a unique threat to our environment, economy, and even public health. From an environmental standpoint, invasive species serve to invade a local environment and wreak havoc on it. In fact, 42% of endangered species in America were driven to their threatened status directly by the introduction of an invasive species. Economically, invasive species cause over $150 billion worth of damage each year in the US alone, with the pesky Brazilian Fire Ant in Texas costing upwards of $1 billion per year. Even more disturbing, invasive species cause over $44 billion in public health damage each year in the US. .
We hope that you will join our efforts to combat the threat of invasive species since the native flora and fauna that characterizes our environment is a valuable part of what defines our home, heritage, and community in Texas. We believe that we have an obligation to preserve it, and only your help and support can make this a success.