Aquatic Nuisance or Invasive Species could or currently threaten conservation of Maryland’s aquatic resources. Work to protect Maryland from these threats has been funded, in part, by the
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force as described in Maryland’s
Aquatic Nuisance Species Plan. The plan outlines steps that have or will be taken to assess threats, prevent introductions, detect early introductions, respond to introductions, and/or control the biomass and spread of established aquatic invasive species. The work is managed by the department’s Invasive Species Matrix Team. Please review progress below.
To electronically share or print signs regarding aquatic invasive species, please visit the department’s
Identify Invasive Species (MIT)
The department has developed the Mid-Atlantic Invaders Tool, an application for providing vital information on species that are invasive or at risk for becoming invasive in the Mid-Atlantic region. Many of these species have been categorized into a three tier system for management: High Priority (H); Low Priority (L); and Red Alert, or not yet found in Maryland but of high concern (R) Please visit the department’s MIT.
Report Invasive SpeciesThe department requests that the public report invasive or suspected invasive species with a picture using
Maryland's Invasive Species Tracker, or to a subject matter expert identified in the table below. The department verifies reports before archiving verified data to a national database, such as USGS’ Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database or University of Georgia’s, EDDMaps. In some cases, biologists may use environmental DNA (or eDNA) to detect and monitor invasive species. Read more about eDNA with our Q&A report
The department may conduct a risk assessment for new species that may be newly found in Maryland, be considered for aquaculture, or already established, The department has adopted a peer-reviewed process of risk assessment that includes scientific research and reporting used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. More details about the risk assessment are available in the department's
Create Rapid Response Plan
The department may create a rapid response plan, when determined necessary, to prevent establishment of a verified, invasive species. The department has modified the
Incident Command System of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop the department's
Rapid Response Plan.
Currently Prioritized Species Management
Ways of managing potential or existing aquatic invasive species include: Prevention that includes outreach, signs, websites, and regulations or laws; Early Detection that includes citizen reporting, eDNA monitoring, or government surveys; Rapid Response that includes eradication and mobilizing stakeholders; and Control Biomass and Spread that involves encouraging harvest, herbicide treatments, and direct removals.