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Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

We can be part of the solution by following these easy steps:

  • 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).

Algae are in the plant kingdom, but technically they are not plants. A diverse group of organisms, algae survive in even the harshest habitats. From the dry desert, to the Arctic Circle, to boiling springs, these organisms have found a way to extract enough from their environment to live. Algae range in size from microscopic to meters long and from single-celled to complex organisms that rival large plants. These organisms may look like true plants, but unlike plants, algae do not have roots or true stems and leaves. In Florida's freshwaters, algae are what make the water green. Green water is not necessarily undesirable, and neither are algae. In fact, algae are essential to the ecosystem and to life as we know it. Algae are a primary component of the food web, providing food for all types of animals, including fish, insects, mollusks, zooplankton (microscopic animals), and humans. There are microscopic algae, like phytoplankton; and there are macroalgae, visible to the naked eye. Algae occur naturally in all types of systems and can indicate the condition of an ecosystem. The mere presence of a species can indicate the amount and type of nutrients present. 

Woman cleans hydrilla from boat rudder

After boating, always take a few minutes to remove plant matter from your boat, bilge and trailer (or other outdoor equipment). Some invasive aquatic plants are able to reproduce and grow from plant fragments—even from a small piece of a leaf or stem.