Invasive species are non-native species that can cause harm to the environment, the economy or human health. Invasives come from all around the world. As international trade increases, so does the rate of invasive species introductions.
Invasive species threaten nearly every aspect of our world and are one of the greatest threats to New York's biodiversity. They cause or contribute to:
- Habitat degradation and loss;
- The loss of native fish, wildlife and tree species;
- The loss of recreational opportunities and income;
- Crop damage;
- diseases in humans and livestock; and
- Risks to public safety
Managing Invasive Species
To combat the impacts of invasive species, DEC created and supports the Bureau of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (BISEH) within the Division of Lands and Forests. This group works across the state by providing expertise, assistance and action where invasive species are a threat. BISEH collaborates with numerous stakeholders including State and Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, industry and notably through Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs).
A Framework for Response
The Rapid Response for Invasive Species: Framework for Response (PDF) was created to aid resource managers responsible for responding to newly discovered invasive species infestations. The policy outlines all the necessary components of an effective response, including:
- Public outreach;
- Scientific analysis;
- Information management;
- Compliance with laws and regulations;
- Resources; and
DEC's experiences with managing invasive species such as northern snakeheads, hydrilla, oak wilt and emerald ash borer, were used to help develop and refine this framework.
Invasive Species Grant Program
The Invasive Species Grant Program, which is funded by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), increases NYS DEC's ability to reduce the impacts of these invasive pests by partnering with municipalities, not-for-profits, and academic institutions. Grant projects help reduce the impacts of invasive species across the state through control, removal, research, and prevention.
Since 2016, DEC's Invasive Species Grant Program has awarded approximately $6.5 million dollars to 114 municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, and academic institutions. For a list of current projects funded by the grant program, visit the invasive species grants page.
Invasive Species Comprehensive Management Plan
DEC and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, co-chairs of the Invasive Species Council, announced the adoption of the Final Invasive Species Comprehensive Management Plan (PDF) (ISCMP) in December 2018. The overarching goal of the plan is to minimize the introduction, establishment and spread of invasive species throughout the State. Public comments on the draft Plan were accepted in spring of 2018. To view a complete list of individual comments and outcomes on the ISCMP, please see the Responsiveness Summary (PDF).