Focus Areas: Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
Aquatic Invasive Species
Hundreds of non-native organisms have been introduced to New York's marine, estuarine and Great Lakes waters as well as the lands adjacent to them by natural and human-mediated mechanisms. Some species may also have been introduced through natural means. When a non-native species causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health, it is considered to be an "invasive species.” Non-native is not synonymous with invasive, the latter involving an element of harm not necessarily implied in the former. Many non-native species have beneficial impacts on our society and are not invasive. Aquatic invasive species are often referred to as “aquatic nuisance species.”
Great Lakes invasive species run the gamut from plants, such as purple loosestrife and poison hemlock, to fish such as common carp, sea lamprey, and round gobies, to mollusks such as zebra and quagga mussels, to pathogens, such as “whirling” disease avian botulism and VHS (viral hemorrhagic septicemia). Some major marine and estuarine invaders include Mytilopsis leucophaeata (the false dark mussel), shipworms, the green crab, the Asian shore crab, Chinese mitten crab, mute swan, the lionfish, brown tide, the common reed (Phragmites) and Japanese knotweed (Fallopia).

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