Aquatic Plant Information Retrieval System (APIRS)
After 30 years of assiduous work, the Aquatic Plant Information Retrieval System (APIRS) database now includes more than 85,000 citations, and continues to be the largest free database of its kind in the world. Beginning as a mainframe, punch-card database of a few hundred references about water hyacinths, the APIRS database now contains citation and keyword records for scientific articles and reports about uncounted species of aquatic, wetland and invasive plants. The database has been used many thousands of times by researchers, government agencies, companies, teachers, students and private groups and individuals. Users can request searches of the database or they can access the database themselves, online.
The database originally was meant to be a source of information for "aquatic weed" workers in developing countries, and was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development in the early 1980s for that purpose. It quickly became a source of information for workers in Florida as well, gaining the support of the lead aquatic and invasive plant management agency in Florida, now the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Invasive Plant Management Section.
The FWC Invasive Plant Management Section is the primary sponsor of the APIRS program. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Aquatic Plant Control Research Program and the the St. Johns River Water Management District have provided significant support in the past.
APIRS was conceived of and developed by Mr. Victor Ramey. Ms. Karen Brown manages the database. Mrs. Mary Langeland catalogues all materials placed in the database. Ms. Anne Taylor adds newly cataloged entries to the database.