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Home / U.S. Invasive Species / Rhode Island

Rhode Island

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Spotlights

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Trying to reduce the spread of invasive species in Rhode Island waters, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has amended the state's Freshwater Fisheries Regulations to prohibit the transport of any plant or plant part into or out of any Rhode Island waterbody on any type of boat, motor, trailer, fishing supplies, or gear. The new regulation carries a $100 fine for each violation. "Many of the aquatic invasive plants in Rhode Island can reproduce from just one small plant fragment and do not need entire root systems to successfully establish in a new spot," said Katie DeGoosh-DiMarzio, Environmental Analyst with DEM's Office of Water Resources. "Cleaning off every bit of plant from recreational gear used at one pond is essential before visiting another — this includes boats, kayaks, canoes, motors, trailers, paddles, jet skis, fishing gear, waders, water tubes, and anchors. These efforts help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species in Rhode Island waterbodies."

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is asking Rhode Islanders to monitor their beech trees for signs of leaf damage from Beach Leaf Disease (BLD). Early symptoms of BLD include dark striping on the tree's leaves parallel to the leaf veins and are best seen by looking upward into the backlit canopy. Drastic leaf loss occurs for heavily symptomatic leaves during the growing season and may appear as early as June, while asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic leaves show no or minimal leaf loss. BLD was detected in the Ashaway area of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, in 2020 and in coastal Massachusetts. Before these findings, the disease was only known to be in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut.

Because of the seemingly random nature of disease in Rhode Island, DEM encourages homeowners and forest landowners to monitor their beech trees and report any suspected cases of BLD on DEM's Invasive Species Sighting Report webpage. Although BLD is relatively new in the U.S. and information is limited, links to additional information about the disease and photos are posted on the Division of Forest Environment's Current Threats page. If people have further questions, they should contact a licensed arborist or email Nancy Stairs, forestry program supervisor in DEM's Division of Forest Environment, via Nancy.Stairs@dem.ri.gov.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing that two exotic species of Asian and Eurasian ticks have been detected for the first time on Block Island. It was confirmed by DNA and morphological characteristics that they are ticks not previously found in Rhode Island. Dr. Danielle M. Tufts identified the tick species Haemaphysalis longicornis and Haemaphysalis punctata when studying ticks on Block Island this summer.

Haemaphysalis longicornis, also called the Asian longhorned tick, was first detected in the United States in 2017 in New Jersey. Haemaphysalis punctata is native to Europe and has not been previously detected in a natural setting in North America. H. punctata is sometimes known as the "red sheep tick" in its native range. The center of its distribution is the southern half of Europe, including England, and there are some established populations along North African coastal areas. The finding on Block Island is notable because this tick is not known to exist outside of its home range.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Office of Water Resources.
You can take actions to prevent the further spread of AIS. It is essential for boaters and recreational users of lakes and ponds to be vigilant!
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey.
We are currently monitoring these exotic pests as part of the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS). If you think you've discovered a pest not native to Rhode Island, and particularly if you suspect the pest to be the Asian Longhorned Beetle or the Emerald Ash Borer, please report it.

State Specific Threats

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Includes invasive species by category for insects, diseases, plants, and animals.
See also: Invasive Species Status Report by Congressional District

DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides fact sheets, maps and collection information for aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates occurring outside of their native range.
USDA. APHIS. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS). National Agricultural Pest Information System (NAPIS).
Provides State pest detection contacts, recent state exotic pest news, links to state pest resources, and a list of state CAPS survey targets.
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.
See also: Includes also Federal Noxious Weed List and Federal and State Noxious Weeds -- Composite (summary of noxious status for all the listed plants in the U.S.)

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Rhode Island

Council or Task Force
Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council.
Rhode Island Invasive Species Council.
The Rhode Island Invasive Species Council is an outreach program of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, The Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station, and The University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension.
Partnership
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Agriculture.
State and Local Government

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Agriculture.
Professional

Rhode Island Wild Plant Society.

Rhode Island Natural History Survey.