Why Manage Plants? It’s the Law
Florida's fresh waters include about 7,700 lakes and ponds, and 1,400 rivers and streams. About 460 of these, covering nearly 1.25 million acres, are considered to be public lakes and rivers because they are owned by the state and accessible via public boat ramp. Invasive aquatic plants degrade and diminish these valuable aquatic environments. In some cases, they impact human welfare by impeding flood control, endangering infrastructure, and hampering recreation. Some threaten Florida’s economy (agriculture, horticulture, tourism) and natural resources such as native plants, fish and wildlife.Therefore, laws are in place to protect Florida and all its inhabitants from the costly and damaging effects of invasive aquatic plants.
Some laws limit or restrict the transport or possession of certain plants; some require a permit, other plants are prohibited altogether (i.e., illegal to possess or transport). The following two agencies are largely responsible for implementing invasive plant regulations in the state.