Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are known by many names—nuisance species, exotic species, non-indigenous species, or just pests. These plants and animals, like purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) have forever changed the ecology and economy of Massachusetts. To address these threats, a variety of state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations have formed the Massachusetts AIS Working Group. With leadership from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), this group works to prevent new introductions and manage the impact of AIS already established in the Commonwealth.

To achieve this goal, the AIS Working Group published the Massachusetts Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan in 2002 and is focusing on:

  • Prevention and Education - The most effective approach to managing AIS is to prevent introductions in the first place, and Massachusetts is involved with several prevention and education efforts to preempt arrivals.
  • Early Detection, Monitoring, and Species Identification - Early detection and citizen monitoring efforts increase the possibility of successful management.
  • Data and Information Sharing - Data collected through CZM’s AIS program is accessible through web-based data management tools.
  • Rapid Response - If an aquatic invasive species is perceived to be an ecological or economic threat, a rapid response is critical for a successful eradication.
  • Control - When a species cannot be eradicated, continued control efforts are necessary to minimize ecological and economic impacts.

This website also includes:

  • Background on Aquatic Invasive Species - This section includes information on the problems caused by AIS and what is being done locally and regionally to address these problems.
  • Project Partners - Numerous state, federal, and local partners are involved in the Massachusetts AIS effort.
  • Links/Resources - This page includes links to additional resources for species identification, research, management, and other initiatives.
  • Publications - This page includes an annotated listing of all CZM publications related to AIS.
  • Contact Us - If you are interested in getting involved or have any questions about AIS, please see this page for information on contacting the CZM AIS program.

If you think you have identified a NEW Aquatic Invasive Species, take a picture and report it.