Aquatic Invasive Species
Each year, Pennsylvania residents pay millions of dollars to identify, prevent, eradicate, and control invasive species. Pennsylvania’s diverse geography is home to thousands of different plant, animal, and invertebrate species. Unfortunately, not all of these organisms are beneficial. Pennsylvania’s natural resources and economy are threatened by unwanted invaders that threaten our native plants and wildlife by outcompeting with them for resources and habitat.
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that cause harm to the environment, the economy, native species, and human or animal health. Preventing their spread is important because once introduced, these species disrupt ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, and cost communities huge amounts of time, money, resources, and lost revenue.
Aquatic invasive species can be introduced unintentionally through transport of ballast water in cargo ships, through water-related activities like boating and fishing. They can also be transported to new locations by activities such as releasing unwanted aquarium pets or dumping live bait into a waterway or lake. No matter how they arrive, invasive species can wreak havoc and impact entire ecosystems.
Pennsylvania Sea Grant develops educational and outreach-related materials, delivers in-person and virtual trainings, and collaborates with state, regional, federal, and inter-jurisdictional partners to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Below you’ll gain access to a series of resources developed by Pennsylvania Sea Grant, available via download, by request, or in print. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our resources or would like to host an event or training.
Aquatic Invasive Species Resources
A suite of fact sheets featuring aquatic invaders found in Pennsylvania and in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Guides and trainings for professional AIS management staff and volunteers.
The Pennsylvania Aquatic Invasive Species app, PA AIS, mirrors content in the Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species and gives the user the ability to report invasive species in real time. Download the app today!
A series of four videos introducing the problems aquatic invasive species pose and ways to prevent their spread.
Guide to Organizing an Aquarium Pet Surrender Event
Owning an aquarium can provide numerous benefits, both for personal enjoyment and overall well-being, but for some species like turtles or goldfish, their size, longevity, and the expense to feed and care for them may become a challenge. Organizing an aquarium pet surrender event, where the animal will be safely and responsibly rehomed, can be a helpful way to support pet owners. Aquarium pet surrender events also help native species and the ecosystem, by preventing aquarium pets from being released into the wild, where they can cause detrimental harm to the former pet, to the native species living there, and to the ecosystem. This Pennsylvania Sea Grant-developed guide a resource for anyone interested in organizing and hosting aquarium pet surrender events.