Aquatic Invasive Species

Long Island Sound AIS Management Plan

The many descriptive terms for aquatic organisms living beyond their natural geographic range include "invasive", "introduced", "non-native", "exotic", "non-indigenous", "alien", and "aquatic nuisance". Although some introductions occur naturally, a variety of human-mediated pathways now transport great numbers of aquatic species long distances in relatively short periods of time. As a result, species from one continent may find their way past natural barriers to other continents far removed from their native lands. Whether deliberately or accidentally introduced through human activity, these introductions occur globally and all affect local biodiversity. In some cases, their presence in new habitats may also have serious socioeconomic or health impacts.

These pages are devoted to sharing information about introduced or invasive species in Long Island Sound (LIS). They include:

  • a draft list of species considered invasive or potentially so
  • pictures and basic background
  • downloadable fact sheets
  • other publications and resources
  • links to other sites.

For full LIS AIS Draft Plan download PDF

For draft appendices download PDF

What's being done?

In the United States of America, many scientists, as well as state and federal agencies, are focused on preventing or eradicating new introductions, slowing the spread of established aquatic invasive species, and studying the impacts of introduced species. An extensive ongoing national research and education effort that includes both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species is ongoing. The federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and national Invasive Species Council bring together individuals representing the breadth of agencies that have some responsibility or jurisdiction over introductions, or the potential pathways of introductions, to work together on addressing the problems. Regional panels of state agencies, academics, local industries, and educators are pooling resources and working together throughout the country on AIS issues of common concern. Individual states, including Connecticut and New York, the two states that border Long Island Sound, are developing (or revising) and implementing comprehensive plans to address AIS, covering regulatory, research, policy, and education aspects. This global problem is also being addressed on a global scale, with the sharing of expertise among nations concerned with stemming the flow of new introductions and minimizing the impacts of established invasive species.