First discovered in Georgia in the year 1994, the slippery Asian swamp eel has slivered its way to becoming one of the most versatile invasive aquatic species in America. This poses a major threat to ecosystems all across the nation. For example, Fish And Aquatic News states that not only has the Asian swamp eel been found in the warm, humid climates of Florida and Georgia, but also in New Jersey where a drastic contrast of freezing temperatures is blatantly evident. Lakes and wetlands of all climate regions are susceptible to invasion by the eel, and its survival capabilities make it extremely difficult to get rid of. If there is a scarcity of water in the eel’s habitat, it can survive by burrowing underground into moist soil, not to mention its ability to survive on land for long periods of time by absorbing oxygen through its skin. This species is a terror to the wildlife in America, even more so to the sensitive endangered species such as those in Florida’s Everglades.
This problem hit very close to home for me because Florida just happens to be my birthplace. The very large city surrounding the equally massive St. John’s River became my beloved habitat, and an invasion of any kind would not be taken lightly. Scientists say that they may not be able to stop the growth of these eels, but electroshocking and poison are two ways that the invasion can be slowed down. The Asian swamp eel is trying to claim territory in multiple locations in the U.S. and although National Parks Traveler says that it has yet to cause significant ecological damage, I do not think that we should sit around clicking our heels until it does.