Overview and Index - CZM Marine Invasive Species Program

Find details on the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Marine Invasive Species Program with links to major initiatives and resources.
Photo of the invasive tunicate didemnum
The invasive mystery tunicate (Didemnum vexillum) growing in a tide pool.

Marine invasive species are plants, animals, and other organisms (like viruses) that are not known to naturally occur in a certain area but have been introduced by humans. These organisms—like the European green crab—can significantly impact the environment, economy, and public health. The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Marine Invasive Species Program promotes understanding, effective monitoring, and management of these species.

Program Priorities

The CZM Marine Invasive Species Program focuses on:

  • Rapid Assessment Surveys - Every few years, CZM coordinates teams of scientific experts to visit marinas in New England to collect and accurately identify marine organisms to detect new marine invaders and document regional patterns of established invaders.
  • Volunteer Monitoring with the Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) - Organized by CZM, MIMIC brings together volunteers and scientific experts to monitor for marine invasive species along the New England coast.
  • MIMIC Story Map - This story map provides photos and descriptions of species monitored, maps of where each species has been observed, and additional information.
  • Marine Invasive Species Identification Cards - These 23 species identification cards of marine invaders in New England were created by CZM and Salem Sound Coastwatch.
  • Publications - This page includes an annotated listing of all CZM publications related to marine invasive species, covering these topic areas: general information, management, identification, monitoring, rapid assessment surveys, impacts, and prevention.

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