11/20/13

IISG in the news: Injurious species list results in a ban on invasive plants

Working with Illinois and Indiana DNR, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant led the development of a risk assessment tool to evaluate species based on their potential to be or become invasive. That tool and the resulting list of species led to the creation of a rule prohibiting the sale of 28 invasive aquatic plants in the state of Illinois. 

"Plant species were chosen based on the results of a risk assessment tool developed in Indiana by the Aquatic Plant Working Group. The tool evaluates species based on factors like ability to thrive in the Great Lakes and difficulty to control. At the request of Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant organized and facilitated the group, which included representatives from the aquatic plant industry, aquarium and water garden hobbyists, state agencies, academia, and non-governmental organizations. Their efforts led to a rule approved last year that bans the sale of 28 invasive aquatic plants in Indiana.

'It is important to have consistent regulations across the Great Lakes Basin. We want our policies to be consistent with our neighbors since invasive species don’t respect political boundaries,' said Kevin Irons, aquaculture and aquatic nuisance species program manager for Illinois DNR. 'Prevention is the first and cheapest way to protect Illinois from aquatic invasive plants, and risk assessment tools like the one built in Indiana allow us to identify and control high risk species without unduly regulating the industry.'"
Read the complete article at the link above, and read about the similar Indiana ban in the Winter 2012 edition of The Helm.  

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