BOSTON — Scientists have been scouring docks and piers along the Massachusetts coast to look for non-native marine species.

State officials say those organisms can threaten the state’s native marine ecosystems, including by preying on valuable shellfish.

They also say invasive species can damage piers and pilings, clog pipes and cause public health problems.

The recent survey was part of an effort to collect, identify and catalog marine organisms in coastal waters from Maine’s midcoast to Cape Cod and Rhode Island.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan said it will provide up-to-date information that’s needed to protect natural resources along Massachusetts’ coastline.

State officials say Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sea Grant program was part of the project, which also included researchers from the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands


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