What are invasives?
Invasive aquatic plant species harm recreational opportunites, water quality, wildlife habitat and local economies.
Maine is home to six species of invasive species, spread across 30 lakes (see this map for locations) ranging from extreme southern York County all the way to Big Lake in the remote downeast region. They are usually introduced into lakes and ponds when they hitchhike on boats and their associated equipment. Once introduced, invasive species grow and spread rapidly, outcompeting native plants, degrading habitat for fish and other wildlife, and in some cases decreasing property values. Invasive species are managed by many local and regional watershed associations and lake groups, with funding and support of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection. Please see the resources and links listed here for more information.
Courtesy Boat Inspection programs are run by many local lake groups. Learn more at Lakes Environmental Association.
Invasive Plant Patrol is a citizen science program run by the Lake Stewards of Maine, which trains volunteers to proactively look for new infestations of invasive species. Invasive Plant Patrollers are essential to spotting new infestations early, so that we can act quickly to mitigate impacts.
The introduction of non-native invasive aquatic plant and animal species to the United States has been escalating with widespread destructive consequences. Prevention is the first step in fighting this invasion.
Do you think you may have found an invasive aquatic plant? Use the link below of invasive aquatic plant species to help you identify what you have found.
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