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Federal Laws

Provides selected Federal Laws from agencies and organizations with an interest in the prevention, control, or eradication of invasive species.

View related information: Federal Government's Response for Invasive Species


  • Balancing Act: A Policy Success Story in the Great Lakes

    • Feb 23, 2024
    • Michigan State University. Michigan Sea Grant.

    • The Great Lakes remain one of the most heavily invaded freshwater systems in the world. Ballast water from cargo ships crossing the ocean inadvertently brought in many aquatic invasive species (AIS), accounting for the introduction of 40% of all nonindigenous aquatic species in the Great Lakes. However, collaborative efforts have led to pioneering research and policy changes that have reduced this threat.

  • Funding Available for Tools and Projects that Eradicate Invasive Species

    • Mar 26, 2024
    • DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    • Recognizing the importance of eradication outcomes in invasive species management, the Department of the Interior has announced the availability of up to $3 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for projects that seek to eradicate invasive species.  While control and suppression of invasive species are important in many cases, the emphasis of this funding opportunity is on eradicating them from a defined area where it is a feasible and achievable management goal.  This funding provides an opportunity for us to invest in protecting our lands and waters by removing an entire population of invasive species and supporting a balanced ecosystem.

  • Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments Combine Science and Technology to Track Biological Threats in US Waters

    • Nov 9, 2022
    • DOI. United States Geological Survey.

    • The U.S. Geological Survey announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, or MBARI, to develop portable robotic DNA samplers capable of independently monitoring for living threats in the rivers and streams without constant support from researchers.

      With new investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the partnership will help advance detection of invasive species, pathogens and parasites which cause ecological and economic damage to aquatic systems. These organisms can wreak havoc on our waterways, threaten commercial and recreational fishing industries and promote the spread of zoonotic diseases that can impact humans.

  • H.R.9597 - Wildlife Disease Surveillance for Pandemic Prevention Act of 2022

    • Dec 15, 2022

    • Introduced on December 15, 2022 (117th Congress; 2021-2022), by Rep. Katie Porter [D-CA-45], this bill would create a coordinated domestic wildlife disease surveillance framework for State, Tribal, and local governments to monitor and respond to wildlife disease outbreaks to prevent pandemics, and for other purposes.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Reclassifies Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act

    • Nov 29, 2022
    • DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The bat, listed as threatened in 2015, now faces extinction due to the rangewide impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting hibernating bats across North America. The rule takes effect on January 30, 2023.

  • Executive Order 13751 - Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species

    • Dec 5, 2016

    • This order amends Executive Order 13112 and directs actions to continue coordinated Federal prevention and control efforts related to invasive species. This order maintains the National Invasive Species Council (Council) and the Invasive Species Advisory Committee; expands the membership of the Council; clarifies the operations of the Council; incorporates considerations of human and environmental health, climate change, technological innovation, and other emerging priorities into Federal efforts to address invasive species; and strengthens coordinated, cost-efficient Federal action.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source.

  • Regulated Noxious Aquatic Weeds

    • National Plant Board.

    • Provides information on federally and state regulated plants. Refer to the link to the Excel spreadsheet of information compiled by industry for regulated noxious aquatic weeds (combined federal and state list). Please note that state regulations change frequently and may not reflect the most current information.

Federal Government
  • U.S. Regulated Plant Pest List

    • USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

    • APHIS regulates the following list of pests under the authority of the Plant Protection Act. It does not include any 'regulated non-quarantine pests' (pests which are present and may be widely distributed in the U.S.
      See also: Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern for related information

  • Federal Noxious Weed List [PDF, 262 KB]

    • USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

    • The APHIS Federal Noxious Weed Program is designed to prevent the introduction into the United States of nonindigenous invasive plants.
      See also: Noxious Weeds Program Homepage for more information.

  • Hungry Pests - Pest Tracker

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • See what states have a federal quarantine for any of the targeted Hungry Pests, and identify which pests or diseases are at greatest risk due to a suitable habitat. In addition to federal quarantines, state-level quarantines might apply see State Summaries of Plant Protection Laws and Regulations (National Plant Board).

      See also: The Threat for an overview of the top invasive pest threats; indicates places with Federal Quarantines in place.

  • Import Federal Orders

    • USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

    • A Federal Order is a legal document issued in response to an emergency when the Administrator of APHIS considers it necessary to take regulatory action to protect agriculture or prevent the entry and establishment into the United States of a pest or disease. Federal Orders are effective immediately and contain the specific regulatory requirements.

  • Inflation Reduction Act: Funding Opportunities

    • DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    • The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a historic, federal government-wide investment that furthers NOAA’s efforts to build a Climate-Ready Nation. It provides $3.3 billion for NOAA to build on its commitment to help Americans – including tribes and vulnerable populations – prepare, adapt, and build resilience to weather and climate events; improve supercomputing capacity and research on weather, oceans, and climate; strengthen NOAA’s hurricane hunter aircraft and fleet; and replace aging NOAA facilities.

      Within NOAA's IRA funding, $575 million was put towards standing up the NOAA Climate Resilience Regional Challenge. The funds are available as competitive grants.

  • Injurious Wildlife Listings - Keeping Risky Wildlife Species Out of the United States

    • DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.

    • Includes species listed as injurious wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act (18 USC 42), which makes it illegal to import injurious wildlife into the U.S. or transport between the listed jurisdictions in the shipment clause (the continental U.S., the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any possession of the U.S.) without a permit. An injurious wildlife listing would not prohibit intrastate transport or possession of that species within a State where those activities are not prohibited by the State. Preventing the introduction of new harmful species is the only way to fully avoid impacts of injurious species on local, regional, and national economies and infrastructure, and on the natural resources of the U.S.

      Injurious wildlife are wild mammals, wild birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crustaceans, mollusks and their offspring or eggs that are injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources of the U.S. Plants and organisms other than those stated above cannot be listed as injurious wildlife. For more information, see What Are Injurious Wildlife: A Summary of the Injurious Provisions of the Lacey Act and Summary of Species Currently Listed as Injurious Wildlife.

  • Lacey Act (Plants and Plant Products)

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • The 2008 Farm Bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), effective May 22, 2008, amended the Lacey Act and extended its protections to a broad range of plants and plant products, making it unlawful to import into the United States any plant or plant product that was illegally harvested. It also makes it unlawful to import certain products without a declaration.

      APHIS, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administer the Lacey Act. APHIS is responsible for collecting declarations for imported plants and plant products, and defining the scope of plant materials that require a declaration.

  • Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis (NAPPRA)

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • Plants for planting can carry a wide variety of pests that are more likely to become established in the United States because they are already on a suitable host. In some cases, the plants themselves are the pest. To ensure U.S. import regulations provide adequate protection against the risk posed by plants for planting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) established a new regulated category called not authorized pending pest risk analysis (NAPPRA). NAPPRA allows APHIS to more fully protect U.S. agriculture from foreign pests while minimizing adverse economic and trade impacts.

      Before NAPPRA, APHIS' plants for planting regulations (also known as Q37) categorized imported plants as either prohibited (not allowed) or restricted (allowed under certain conditions). The regulations did not require a pest risk analysis prior to the importation of a new taxonomic group of plants. This differed from APHIS' fruits and vegetables regulations (Q56) where the importation of regulated articles is prohibited until APHIS completes a pest risk analysis.
      See also: Q37 Restructure, Quarantine 56, and NAPPRA FAQ's

  • Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Invasive through Strategic Landscape-Level Approaches


    • Using appropriations to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Public Law 117-58, also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), in collaboration with other U.S. Department of the Interior bureaus, is providing grants to support implementation of measures that prevent the introduction or spread of invasive species. Proposals are requested that advance strategic, ecologically-based, landscape-level prevention measures. Landscape-level approaches are those that bring together multiple geographies, sectors, and stakeholders to protect and conserve natural resources on a larger scale.

      Total funding available is $1,852,550. The USFWS anticipates funding one to four projects, ranging between $200,000 and $1,852,550. Proposals were due June 22, 2022. The anticipated award date was August 2022. Grant Opportunity - F22AS00320.

      See related resource: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Overview for funding for the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), the Interior (DOI), and Commerce (DOC) that are directly or indirectly tied to invasive species management.

State and Local Government
  • Invasive Species: Laws

    • Michigan Invasive Species Program.

    • Laws and regulations at the state (Michigan) and federal level are designed to stop the introduction and spread of invasive species.