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What you can do...

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 plants: http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/seagrant/whatido.html

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 transporting equipment.
Eliminate water from equipment before transporting.
Clean and dry anything that comes into contact with water (boats, trailers,
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.

 

 

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This site was last updated on 11/05/2004