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Invasive Species Regulations

"Invasive species" means a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration; and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Regulations are developed to help control invasive species by reducing their introduction and spread.

Regulated and Prohibited Invasive Species

Includes plants, animals, invertebrates, fungi, algae and cyanobacteria

A regulation was adopted in July 2014 that prohibits or regulates the possession, transport, importation, sale, purchase and introduction of select invasive species. The purpose of this regulation is to help control invasive species, a form of biological pollution, by reducing the introduction of new and spread of existing populations. This regulation became effective March 10, 2015. Two species, Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) and Eurasian boars (Sus scrofa) have grace periods. See the frequently asked questions, below, for more details.

Prohibited Species
Patent Status
Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'Aurea' Conditionally Exempt
Regulated Species
Patent Status
Chinese Silvergrass Miscanthus sinensis 'NCMS1' My Fair Maiden H2008-091-004 PPAF

Conditionally Exempt

Chinese Silvergrass Miscanthus sinensis 'Tift M77' Scout PPAF Conditionally Exempt
Winter Creeper Euonymus fortunei 'Kewensis' Conditionally Exempt
Winter Creeper Euonymus fortunei 'Vanilla Frosting' Conditionally Exempt

Six plants and seven animals are considered regulated under Part 575 as of March 10, 2015. These plants and animals must be labeled in at least 14 point font with the warning: Invasive Species - Harmful to the Environment. The species list and examples of appropriate labels can be found below.

Regulated Plant & Animal Species
Common Name Scientific Name Label
Norway Maple Acer platanoides All Six Labels of the Regulated Plant Species (PDF,195 KB)
Japanese Virgin's Bower Clematis terniflora
Burning Bush Euonymous alatus
Winter Creeper Euonymous fortunei
Chinese Silver Grass Miscanthus sinensis
Black Locust Robinia psuedoacacia
African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis African Clawed Frog Label (PDF, 306 KB)
Goldfish Carassius auratus Goldfish Label (PDF, 301 KB)
Koi Cyprinus carpo Koi Label (PDF, 295 KB)
Lionfish Pterois miles Lionfish Label (PDF, 302 KB)
Lionfish Pterois volitans Lionfish Label 2 (PDF, 304 KB)
Monk/Quaker Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus Monk/Quaker Parakeet Label (PDF, 307 KB)
Red-Eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans Red-Eared Slider Label (PDF, 302 KB)

Eurasian Boar

A law was passed on October 21, 2013 (link leaves DEC website) that immediately made it illegal to import, breed or release Eurasian boars in New York. In addition, after September 1, 2015, it will be illegal to possess, sell, distribute, trade or transport Eurasian boars in New York (See Regulated and Prohibited Invasive Species regulation, above).

Aquatic Invasive Species at Boat Launching and Fishing Sites

Boats, trailers, waders and other fishing equipment can spread invasive species from waterbody to waterbody unless properly cleaned after use. Regulations adopted in 2014, prohibit boats from launching from or leaving DEC launch sites without first draining the boat and cleaning the boat, trailer and equipment of visible plant and animal material. In May 2016, statewide regulations (leaves DEC website) known as the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Spread Prevention regulation, or 6 NYCRR Part 576, require that "reasonable precautions", such as cleaning, draining and treating, are taken to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species prior to placing watercraft or floating docks into public waterbodies. Many New York counties, towns and villages also have laws in place that prohibit the transport of aquatic invasive species on boats, trailers and equipment.

Questions and Answers Pertaining to Part 576

  1. When do the regulations become effective?
    The Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention regulations become effective immediately upon publication of the final rule in the State Register May 25, 2016.
  2. What waterbodies are included?
    These regulations apply to all public waterbodies. Public waterbodies are defined as all waters within the state, public or private, except those private waters which do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface waters, which are wholly or partially within or bordering the state.
  3. Are private and public launches included?
    Yes, the regulations apply to both private and public launches on public waterbodies within the state.
  4. What constitutes a watercraft or floating dock?
    A watercraft means every motorized or non-motorized boat, vessel or vehicle capable of being used or operated as a means of transportation or recreation in or on water. A floating dock means a removable buoyant platform supported by floating devices or suspended over the surface of a waterbody by anchors or other devices.
  5. Who do these regulations apply to?
    These Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention regulations apply to all watercraft and floating dock operators on public waterbodies.
  6. What actions are required by the watercraft operator?
    The purpose of these regulations is to establish reasonable precautions, such as removing visible plant or animal matter, washing, draining or drying that must be taken by persons launching watercraft or floating docks into public waterbodies to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Material removed should be disposed of in a proper receptacle or upland location.
  7. Are there any exemptions to the regulations?
    The prohibitions included in 576.3 do not apply to any watercraft and associated equipment or floating dock that is re-launched from a launch site into a public waterbody, within the bounds of any permanent barrier that was removed from the same launch site without having been launched into any other waterbody.
  8. What are the penalties for violating the regulations?
    For any first violation a written warning may be issued along with educational materials. For a second offense a fine of up to $150 may be issued. For a third offense a fine of up to $250 may be issued. For a fourth offense a fine up to $1,000 may be issued.

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