The most important thing anyone can do to stop the spread
of Aquatic Nuisance Species is to never release exotics, and to remove
or destroy any ANS that are found in our waters.
As an aquarist or pond owner, never release your fish or plants into
any natural body of water. Do not place exotics in ponds that are
in any connected to the watershed. Flooding and the resultant
sheetflow is sufficient to allow fish and plants to escape. The
release of aquarium fish and plants (intentional or accidental) are the
leading cause of ANS establishment in Florida. Water gardeners and
aquarists should read the following Sea Grant article on controlling aquatic
Sportsman, anglers, boaters, users of personal watercraft, even scuba
divers can serve as unwitting vectors for ANS, transporting water borne
hitchhikers from one body of water to another. All who utilize our
aquatic resources need to be aware of the problems caused by ANS and how
to stop their spread. Please read the ANS
Task Force Guidelines to Prevent ANS Transport for more
information on how to stop the spread of ANS.
Help the hometown
underdogs, get involved in the fight. Join organizations that
educate and promote our native flora and fauna. Learn about local
plants, animals and issues at the Calusa
Nature Center and Planetarium, Corkscrew
Swamp Sanctuary, or the Conservancy
of SW Florida. The Native
Fish Conservancy actively encourages using natives in the aquarium
hobby, stressing conservation, while battling ANS nationwide. The
Florida Native Plant Society and the Sanibel-Captiva
Conservation Foundation do the same for plants. Become a
member, go to a class. Why import when we have beautiful specimens
at home that belong here, thrive here and are an important part of a web
of life that took eons to evolve?
|U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has launched a
nationwide program partnering with local organizations to stop the
spread of ANS. The "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!" campaign features a
long-term education and outreach effort designed to elevate
awareness bout the spread of ANS and offer advice, help and these
voluntary guidelines for aquatic recreation users:
|When you leave a body of water:
• Remove any visible mud, plants, fish or animals before
• Eliminate water from equipment before transporting.
• Clean and dry anything that comes into contact with water
equipment, clothing, dogs, etc.).
• Never release plants, fish or animals into a body of water
unless they came out
of that body of water.
For more information you can visit their site by
clicking on their logo below.