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Aquatic Invasive Species

What do water chestnut, hydrilla, round goby, and Chinese mitten crab have in common? These plants and animals are all aquatic invasive species. Without the predators, parasites, and diseases that control their numbers in their native habitats, these species can reproduce and spread at an amazing pace.

Aquatic invasive species can be introduced and spread in a variety of ways. Some are spread via home aquariums and water gardens. Others can be spread by boaters and anglers who do not properly clean, drain, and dry their boating and fishing equipment.

Freshwater Plants

Freshwater Animals

Marine Invasive Species

Invasive species can alter marine habitats and reduce biodiversity, impacting the local economy and recreational activities. Some marine invasive species attach to substrates such as drains, pipes, vessels, or fishing gear, reducing their efficiency. The impacts of invasive species can be significant, and attempts to eradicate them and restore habitats can be costly. Human health can also be impacted if species transmit diseases or toxins that could potentially be harmful.


  • Devil's Tongue Weed


  • Chinese Mitten Crab
  • European Green Crab
  • Asian Shore Crab
  • Asian Sea Squirt
  • Carpet Tunicate
  • Veined Rapa Whelk

More about Aquatic Invasive Species:

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Control Projects - DEC and partners are involved in a number of invasive species control projects.
  • Resources for Professionals - A collection of resources regarding invasive species.
  • Marine Invasive Species - Learn more about some of the marine invasive species in New York State.
  • Round Goby - The Round Goby is an invasive fish in the Great Lakes and New York State. learn how to identify the round goby and what you can do to help stop the spread.
  • Spiny Waterflea - Spiny waterflea is an aquatic invasive animal that is becoming more prevalent in New York State. Learn more about what you can do to prevent its spread!
  • Northern Snakehead - Description of the invasive northern snakehead fish, distribution in New York, identifying characteristics, contact information.
  • Mitten Crab - Chinese Mitten Crab may be the newest invader in the Hudson River.
  • Water Chestnut - Water chestnut was first introduced to New York in the mid-1800s. Since then it has spread to most counties in New York. The majority of infestations reported are in or near the Hudson River. Information about how to identify and report it, prevention methods, and control are provided.
  • Starry Stonewort - Starry stonewort is an aquatic invasive algae first discovered in the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1978. Since that time it has spread to inland lakes in New York State. Up-to-date information about its current location, how to identify and report it, its potential impacts, and methods for control are discussed.
  • Hydrilla - Invasive aquatic plant that takes over water bodies.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Lands and Forests
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    Albany, NY 12233-4250
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