An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted  — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely.

You are here

Prevention

Back to top

Spotlights

  • National Sea Grant Law Center.
    Initiative of the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (WRP). The goal of the WRP initiative is to develop a multi-state vision for watercraft inspection and decontamination (WID) programs. The National Sea Grant Law Center is an active participant in this initiative, providing legal research support and leading efforts to develop model legislation and regulations for WID Programs.
  • DHS. Customs and Border Protection.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists have already intercepted a dozen significant and potentially destructive pests this year at various ports of entry in Florida as part of the agency's all-encompassing efforts to safeguard American agriculture.

    Unknown pests pose a significant risk in agriculture due to a lack of knowledge in controlling the pests and the extent of damage they can cause to crops. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologists recently classified eight pests discovered by CBP agriculture specialists in Florida as first-in-the-nation interceptions and another pest as a new species.

  • USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

    USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is charged with implementing Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill (Jul 2015; 5.6 MB) to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment. Under the Farm Bill, APHIS provides funding to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation, while working to safeguard the nursery production system.


    Section 10007 authorizes permanent funding for the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program (PPDMDP) and the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN), with $62.5 million in Commodity Credit Corporation funding allocated by Congress each year from FY 2014-FY2017 and $75 million per year in FY 2018 and beyond. At least $5 million must go to NCPN each year.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
    Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that the department is launching an effort at nine state parks this summer to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, and get boaters involved in invasive species detection. "Boats, motors, and trailers have ideal hiding spots where species may attach, and be transported to new locations," Dunn said. "Boaters must be involved in helping us protect state park waters from invaders, to benefit our environment and avoid very costly measures to treat lakes once these non-native species take hold." Starting this week, DCNR staff will be doing voluntary boat and trailer checks at boat launches on park lakes, handing out informational brochures and demonstrating how to do an inspection.
  • Time Magazine.

    The old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" was ahead of its time when it comes to invasive species policy."

  • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    Traveling for holidays? Then this new site can help you determine what items can be brought into the U.S. Bringing food and other items back from your travels (anytime of the year) could impact the health and safety of American agriculture and natural resources. For example, travelers cannot bring in most fresh fruits and vegetables because they can carry plant pests or diseases.  Just one pest could devastate multiple agricultural industries.

    The new site, Traveler Information, provides everyone with important information about which agricultural items are safe to enter the United States – and which ones are best left behind. This helps protect the health of our country’s plants, animals and natural resources, ensuring many happy holidays to come.

Selected Resources

The section below contains selected highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. To view all related content for this subject, click on "View all resources for subject" in the top left of this page.

Council or Task Force

California Invasive Plant Council.

Partnership

International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The aim of this report was to identify the resources, strategies, and policies necessary to create, maintain, and make accessible one or more commodity/invasive species databases that EPA and other relevant agencies can apply to trade policy decision-making in a timely and scientifically-based manner.
New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.
People have been working to control aquatic invasive species in New York State for decades. In 2003, the state government took a leadership effort to identify and coordinate local and regional efforts. The Watercraft Inspection Steward Programs are a statewide effort that has stewards stationed at boat launches across the state, including Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, the Thousand Islands, the Adirondacks, Lake Champlain, Lake George, Saratoga Lake, the Hudson River and on Long Island.
Tahoe Resource Conservation District; Tahoe Regional Planning Agency; DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Watercraft are the largest vectors for spreading aquatic invasive species (AIS), such as quagga and zebra mussels into new waterways, making boat inspections a vital aspect of protecting Lake Tahoe and other nearby water bodies.

Federal Government

DOI. NPS. Yellowstone National Park.
If you plan to use your own boat or angler float tube, you’ll need a permit and a free Yellowstone aquatic invasive species inspection. You can speed up the inspection process by arriving with a boat that is clean, drained, and dry. Watercraft that arrive dirty or with standing water will be subject to decontamination. Watercraft that cannot be properly decontaminated will be prohibited from launching.
DOI. NPS. Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park waters are generally open for boating from mid-May through October. All watercraft require an NPS inspection and permit before launching. Prior cleaning, draining, and drying of all watercraft, both externally and internally, will reduce inspection time significantly.
Environmental Protection Agency.
In addition to intergovernmental efforts and research to detect and monitor aquatic nuisance species (ANS), the EPA addresses ANS using numerous regulatory tools.

The EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit (VGP) and Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) regulate discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels, including ballast water and hull fouling, which are both pathways for introductions of aquatic nuisance species. The EPA and the Department of Defense are jointly developing the Uniform National Discharge Standards for vessels of the Armed Forces which will also regulate ballast water and hull fouling to help control the introduction of aquatic nuisance species.

Note: On December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, which includes as Title IX the Vessel Incident Discharge Act of 2018 (“VIDA”). The new regulations will replace the EPA’s 2013 Vessel General Permit (“VGP”). EPA first issued the Vessel General Permit (VGP) in 2008 and subsequently reissued it in 2013.
DOI. Bureau of Reclamation. Policy and Program Services.
Technical Memorandum No. 86-68220-07-05. This manual provides recommendations for inspection and cleaning of vehicles and equipment as a prevention tool to limit the spread of invasive species. The manual will help equipment operators gain a better understanding of how invasive plants and animals are spread by contaminated equipment into new locations and has broad applications for many organizations and agencies.
DOI. NPS. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
It is crucial to keep the mussels from moving from Lake Powell to other lakes and rivers. Utah and Arizona state laws require you to clean, drain, and dry your boat when leaving Lake Powell using self-decontamination procedures. Additional steps are required if you launch on other waters without a significant drying period or if you are on Lake Powell for more than 5 days.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
This site can help you determine what items can be brought into the U.S. Bringing food and other items back from your travels could impact the health and safety of American agriculture and natural resources. For example, travelers cannot bring in most fresh fruits and vegetables because they can carry plant pests or diseases. Just one pest could devastate multiple agricultural industries.
 
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This workbook contains basic information on programs in USDA that could be used to fund and support invasive species related projects. This list should be a helpful place to start a search for sources of technical and financial resources for invasive species activities but may not include all potential invasive species funding opportunities. USDA contacts for program support listed in the document are current at the time of publication. The contacts listed in the "other grant information" section can assist you in determining which opportunities may fit best with your needs.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Secretary Perdue is making available an additional $45 million to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its partners to address the ongoing virulent Newcastle disease (vND) outbreak in southern California.  This funding will allow APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to strengthen their joint efforts to stop the spread of this disease and prevent it from affecting additional commercial flocks.  vND has been confirmed in more than 435 backyard flocks since May 2018.  It was also confirmed in four commercial flocks in December 2018 and January 2019. 
DOI. NPS. Curecanti National Recreation Area.
Motorized and trailered watercraft launching in Blue Mesa Reservoir are required to be inspected for aquatic invasive species prior to launching, and if necessary, decontaminated in accordance with procedures set by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. In addition to the mandatory inspection prior to launch, boaters are encouraged to get an exit inspection to verify the watercraft has been cleaned, drained and dried.

State and Local Government

New Mexico Department of Game & Fish.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Please check this information before you transport your watercraft into Wyoming as this information will be updated regularly. This site includes detailed information and a map of inspection facilities including locations, dates of operation, and hours of operation. Any watercraft transported into Wyoming from March 1 through November 30 must undergo a mandatory inspection by an authorized inspector prior to launching in any water of the state. See also: AIS Inspection Location List.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Motorboats and sailboats must have an ANS Stamp prior to launching in Colorado in 2019. Boat owners are required to purchase the ANS Stamp and operators must retain proof of purchase (electronic or printed receipt) on his or her person, the motorboat or sailboat, when operating the vessel (C.R.S. 33-10.5-104.5). ​Funding contributes to prevention and management of ANS in the state. Thank you for protecting our waters and contributing to conservation in Colorado!
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program was established by the Oregon Legislature in an effort to keep Oregon’s lakes, rivers and streams free of destructive invasive species. The program requires owners of motorized and some non-motorized boats to purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species Permit to fund inspections of boats coming into Oregon to prevent the spread of these species into our waterways. All vehicles towing or carrying watercraft into Oregon must stop at a watercraft inspection station that is open to inspect for aquatic invasive species.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The goals of the California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW) are to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and promote public participation in the fight against California's invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

Prevention is the most effective strategy in managing invasive species. However, hundreds of invasive plants and animals have already established in California and are rapidly spreading each year. These invaders are negatively impacting our waters, our native plants and animals (some of them rare, threatened, or endangered), our agriculture, our health, our economy, and our favorite recreational places. Help us celebrate California's Invasive Species Action Week, and more importantly, help stop the spread of invasive species, by volunteering to take action.
Lake George Park Commission.
From May 1st - Oct. 31st, all trailered boats being launched must be inspected at one of the 7 regional inspection stations.
California Department of Parks and Recreation. Division of Boating and Waterways.
South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks partners with the South Dakota B.A.S.S. Federation and private car washes to provide a list of boat wash locations that have lit, pull-though bays for easy access. Hot water may not be available at these boat washes. If your vessel has been moored in containment waters for 3 or more days or if AIS are attached, your boat must be decontaminated with hot water.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The Minnesota Watercraft Inspection Program was created in 1992, in response to legislation proposed by the DNR, Minnesota Lakes Associations, and angling groups. In 2011, legislation aimed at strengthening Minnesota's ability to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species was signed into law.
Idaho State Department of Agriculture.
Idaho's inspection stations are placed on major highways at or near the Idaho state line. The purpose of these stations is to inspect watercraft coming from outside of Idaho. Inspectors will look for high-risk boats that have been in quagga mussel and zebra mussel impacted states. Boats will be inspected for any attached mussels and/or standing water and owners also will be asked where they have boated in the previous 30 days. It is important that boaters arrive in Idaho with a clean, drained and dry watercraft.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
Watercraft inspections are required. If you cannot get to an open inspection station you can get your watercraft inspected at a regional or area FWP office (PDF | 503 KB).
California Department of Parks and Recreation. Division of Boating and Waterways.
This list is provided as a courtesy by the State of California. Additional waterbodies may be conducting watercraft inspections that are not included in this list. Before traveling, boaters are encouraged to contact the managing agency to obtain current information on inspections or restrictions.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Clean Boats, Clean Waters includes teams of volunteers, as well as some paid staff from the DNR, Sea Grant and other organizations. Boat inspectors help perform boat and trailer checks, disseminate informational brochures and educate boaters on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Academic

University of Minnesota. Minnesota Sea Grant.
AIS-HACCP is a self-inspection system for reducing the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species through aquaculture, hatchery, scientific, natural resource, and baitfish harvesting activities. This adaptable way to protect waterways from unwanted species was derived from HACCP methods required for the seafood industry and builds on Sea Grant’s success in assisting industry compliance.

Professional

Environmental Law Institute.
A report by attorney Read D. Porter that examines coordination on aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention among the Chesapeake Bay states. The report focuses on prevention-related legal authorities in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania in particular, and recommends actions to improve regional cooperation both within the existing regulatory frameworks and through potential amendments to state laws and regulations to enhance prevention.
Environmental Law Institute.
Making a List: Prevention Strategies for Invasive Plants in the Great Lakes States surveys plant listing programs in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin to assess the effectiveness of listing as a tool to prevent the proliferation and spreads of invasive plant species.