The DCR Lakes and Ponds program recognizes
the severity of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Massachusetts
and in response has developed a multi-pronged approach to address
There are over three thousand lakes and ponds
in Massachusetts and many of them are already infested with non-native
What Are Invasive Species?
Our lakes contain a wide variety of plants
and animals that are essential parts of a lake ecosystem. Many species
originated here in New England and are well adapted to our climate
and to the other species that live here. Other species have been
brought here from other parts of the country and the world. When
they are introduced into our region, these imported species are
called "exotic" or "non-native".
Because the local ecosystem did not develop natural
controls (animals or other plants to limit their growth and spread)
for exotics, their populations may increase very rapidly. When a
species is able to dominate or significantly alter an area's ecology,
it is considered an "invasive species".
Many native plants cannot compete for space or
food with invasive species and are crowded out or eliminated from
the area. And, since the invasive species often does not provide
an ideal source of food or nesting areas for native animals, the
area can lose its original variety of plants and animals.
Why are Invasive Species harmful?