Since no one knows what the next aquatic invasive plant will be, education and prevention are important strategies to protect our water resources. Both strategies go hand-in-hand; before any of us can take preventative action, we first need to be informed about the problem, the consequences of not managing invasive plants, and solutions.
The UF / IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants and FWC’s Invasive Plant Management Section have been collaborating for nearly 25 years to provide outreach and education materials and training for plant managers, field technicians and educators. In recent years, a concerted effort has been made to develop curricula and hands-on teaching materials for use in classrooms throughout the state. The goal of the Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative is to bring a greater awareness of the problem to the next generation of Floridians with hopes that today’s youth will draw on their new knowledge as they mature into responsible environmental stewards. Materials from the Education Initiative will be featured here periodically but many more can be found on the education website itself.
This section of the website is dedicated to providing educators with information and resources they can use to inform themselves and their community about the challenges presented by invasive plants. New content will be added regularly so be sure to check back.
In the meantime, we offer a few prevention pointers on how we can all be part of the solution:
- Learn to identify which plants are invasive in your area so you can report them and/or avoid transporting them. (For plant identification and information, see Plant Info and Images at the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants and see EDDMapS for reporting invasive plants and animals.)
- Practice good stewardship: never transport Florida’s aquatic, wetland or upland plants to other areas.
- Never empty an aquarium into a body of water, canal or even a drainage ditch.
- Avoid chopping aquatic plants with boat propellers as some plant fragments can grow into new infestations.
- Remove plant matter from boats/trailers and other outdoor equipment after use.
- When disposing of invasive plants, completely dry or freeze them and put in the trash (not the compost).