“Invasive species” are plants, animals or insects that live predominately on land and are both:
- non-native—that is, not indigenous to the region at the time of European settlement; and
- noxious—causing harm to the environment, economy or society.
About 35% of the plant species in New York today are non-native, but only a very small percentage are also noxious and thus “invasive species.”
Invasive species have no upside and numerous downsides. Among other bad consequences, invasive species in your watershed can:
- Drag property values down
- Impede access to recreational uses of the lake such as swimming and boating
- Increase the potential for erosion
- Adversely affect the cold-water fishery
Invasive species arrive mostly as stowaways on international freighters. New York borders on two Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway and New York Harbor—some of the world’s busiest waterways for international shipping. Geography and the global economy make the Empire State especially vulnerable to invasive species.
Once they arrive on our shores, invasive species are easily spread, often by motorboats hop-scotching from one waterway to the next, thus in turn making the Adirondack Park especially vulnerable to invasive species.
Whether they live in the water (aquatic invasive species) or on the land (terrestrial invasive species), ESSLA is committed to fighting the spread of these nasties.