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Aquatic Invasive Species
Aquatic invasive species are marine, estuarine, or freshwater organisms that invade ecosystems beyond their natural, historic range. They cause economic and environmental damage as well as detrimentally affect human use of our natural resources by permanently degrading the habitats they invade, hindering economic development, reducing or eliminating recreational and commercial activities, decreasing the aesthetics of our environment, and serving as vectors of disease.
This website reflects the collaborative efforts of many states and provinces in the western United States and other regions of the country to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species by focusing on their pathways of introduction, sharing information and best management practices, achieving consensus on protocols and standards as well as regulations, developing and implementing outreach campaigns to raise public awareness, and providing training. A network of committed individuals, agencies, and organizations are working together to advance our understanding of the detrimental effects of invasive species and reduce the effects they have on us, our environment, and our economy.
We encourage you to use this website to understand what you need to know if you are moving a boat, seeking watercraft inspection and decontamination training, want to understand the regulations that exist in different states and provinces, seek to learn the latest news about aquatic invasive species, or would like to review any of our interactive online databases, such as how and where biologists are monitoring for the presence of aquatic invasives, or what rapid response plans exist to address a new introduction of aquatic invasives. If you missed one of the webinars in our webinar series, you can review the recordings here.
Our thanks to everyone for the level of cooperation and collaboration that takes place on a daily basis to make the information on this website possible.
Invasive species affect ecosystem structure and function, resulting in a loss of biodiveristy or unique habitats.
Invasive species can:
Outcompete and displace native species
Cause dramatic shifts in trophic dynamics, food web structure, and species abundance
Cause local extinction of species
Cause large-scale mortality of trees and shrubs
Reduce the value of timber and agricultural crops and their associated products
Alterate ecosystem processes
Modify the provision of ecosystem services
Alterate gene pools through hybridization wth native species
Alter carbon and nitrogen cycling, water use, and soil properties
Reduce potential of recreationally hunted and fished species
Diminish habitat aesthetics
Alter water chemistry
Host pathogens and parasites harmful to fish and other aquatic species