Here’s How YOU Can Help:
DO NOT RELEASE: Do not release any aquatic plants or animals near or into lakes, rivers, streams or storm drains
CHOOSE NON-INVASIVES: Learn which aquatic plants are invasive in your area and choose non-invasive alternatives
PICK YOUR PLACE: Build your water garden away from natural waterways or areas that seasonally flood
PROPERLY DISPOSE: Properly dispose of water garden plant material: burn it, bag it, or compost it
DON’T PICK UP HITCHHIKERS: Carefully inspect purchases for “hitchhikers” before putting them into your pond
What Makes a Water Weed?
While most garden plants do not cause problems, a small number are aggressive in new environments and can spread rapidly. The results can have dire consequences, especially in aquatic ecosystems.
Dense mats of invasive aquatic plants:
- degrade water quality
- clog waterways used for irrigation, flood control and fire protection
- out-compete native water plants including threatened and endangered species
- threaten fish and other water creatures
- increase the number of mosquitoes
- make recreational activities like swimming, boating and fishing nearly impossible
In California, more than $50 million has been spent trying to manage water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa) in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta alone over the last fifteen years. Nationwide, losses from invasive aquatic plants, many of which are the same species popular in the water gardening trade, total $110 million annually. You can help prevent these problems by following the easy steps above!
Please visit Cal-IPC for a California guide to aquatic plants and how you can protect lakes, rivers, and other waterways in your area.
For more information about invasive aquatic plants visit these websites:
- California Master Gardeners
- California Department of Boating and Waterways
- California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), Invasive Species Program
- California Division of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Division of Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services, Integrated Pest Control Branch
- California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC)
- Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
- Reducing the Introduction and Distribution of Aquatic Non-Native Invasive Species Through Outreach and Education (RIDNIS)
- San Francisco Estuary Project
- USDA National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC)
- U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species
- Washington State Department of Ecology Aquatic Plant Identification Manual