Learning about Aquatic Invasive Species
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are plants and animals that have been introduced into new ecosystems, resulting in harm to the habitat or species there, as well as human use of those resources. Invading species often displace beneficial native species, and reduce overall biodiversity. Recognizing
new invasions early can allow for prompt control efforts, and
perhaps even eradication, protecting the environment and reducing
costs. A number of aquatic invasive species (both plants and animals) are already found in Rhode Island's waters, and preventing their spread to additional waterbodies requires us all to be aware and vigilent.
plants, often called "weeds" when
they grow at densities that interfere with swimming, fishing
and crowd out native species,
are an important part of our lake and river ecosystems.
Plants not only provide food for many animals, but also
hide young fish
and take up excess nutrients preventing algal blooms. Unfortunately
non-native plants that are introduced into our waterbodies
do not typically have their natural predators to help
a natural balance, often resulting in nuisance conditions.
Click here to view a slide presentation
on "Identification and Management of Aquatic Invasive Species"
Boaters, sailors, anglers, paddlers …every
time you leave a launch:
INSPECT boat, trailers and equipment and REMOVE plants, animals, and mud.
- DRAIN water from your boat, motor, bilge, live wells, and bait containers.
- DON'T MOVE live fish away from a waterbody.
- DISPOSE of unwanted bait in the trash.
- RINSE boat and equipment with hot or high pressure water OR dry for at least 5 days.
Eating invasives - New "management" technique Click here to
Online sources for more information:
RI Department of Environmental Management - Aquatic
Invasive Species http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/quality/surfwq/aisindex.htm
RI Department of Environmental Management Factsheets:
RI Marine & Estuarine
Invasive Species Site - Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research
RI Coastal Resources Management Council
Invasive Species: http://www.crmc.ri.gov/invasives.html
Non-Native Invasive Freshwater Aquatic Plants Found in Rhode Island ans Neighboring States (pdf): http://www.uri.edu/ce/wq/ww/Plants/aquatics_handbook_2011.pdf
University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension's Watershed Watch Aquatic Plant Survey Manual (pdf): http://www.uri.edu/ce/wq/ww/Publications/AquaticPlantProtocol.pdf
Additional Resources for Information on Aquatic Invasive
Species (pdf): http://www.uri.edu/ce/wq/ww/Plants/Resources-Plants.pdf
New York Invasives Channel on You Tube: Each
month, a featured presentation is posted (and archived) http://www.youtube.com/NYinvasives
National Aquatic Invasive Species Database (now
part of the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse): http://nyis.info/ai/default.aspx
A Guide to Selected Invasive Non-native Aquatic Species
Eutrophication and Aquatic Plant Management in Massachusetts:
Center for Aquatic Invasive Plants (Universtiy of Florida,
A Field Guide to Invasive Plants of Aquatic and Wetlands
Habitats for Michigan: http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/education/AquaticsFieldGuide.pdf
A guide to aquatic plants identification & management
(Minnesota Department of Natural Resources): http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/index.html
Guide To Aquatic and Wetland Plants of West Virginia: http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/wildlife/803.pdf
Aquatic Plants, Algae & Lakes (Department of Ecology, Washington State): http://www.ecy.wa.gov/Programs/wq/links/plants.html
Pesticides and Aquatic Animals: A Guide to Reducing Impacts on Aquatic Systems: http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/waterquality/420-013/420-013.html
A Field Guide To Aquatic Invaders (Minnesota Sea
Grant Program): http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/ais/fieldguide
Identifying and Managing Aquatic Plants in Ponds (video
Aquatic Plants and Algae Publications (Penn State Cooperative
National Invasives Species Information Center - USDA:
Narragansett Bay Estuary Program Bay Science - Marine Invasive
Invasive Species of Long Island Sound: http://www.seagrant.uconn.edu/whatwedo/ais/listour.php
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, an intergovernmental
organization dedicated to preventing and controlling aquatic nuisance species.
has links to educational resources as well as to an "Experts" database: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/default.php
Links to resources that show you
how to safely dine on invasive species: