Water Protectors

Our waters are beautiful to behold. A refuge of relaxation, whether you are on the water, in the water, flying above or swimming below the surface. But our waters are also a living and delicate ecosystem. Our activities in and around the water can either help or harm the places we most enjoy. 

Invasive plants and animals can hitch a ride on your watercraft, tag along on your gear, and even become unwelcome guests on toys and pets. These species, once introduced, out-compete the native plants and animals for resources and can quickly take over. Their presence can have a noticeable impact on the environment, and affect your ability to enjoy recreation on the water.

You can help keep your waters in the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario region at their best by following the steps below. 

Agreeing to take these actions awards you this Waters Protectors Badge. 

Download this image and share it on social media to show how you’re a Waters Protector! To download, right-click the image and select “save as” to save it to your device. Then upload it on social media – tag @sleloprisminvasives or use hashtag #iPledgeToProtect.

Simple Steps

There are simple steps that can protect our waters from the introduction and spread of invasive species.

  1. CLEAN off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from all equipment before leaving water access
  2. DRAIN watercraft bilge, live well, motor, and other water-containing devices before leaving water access.
  3. DRY everything for at least five days OR wipe with a towel before reuse.
  4. DISPOSE of unwanted bait, worms, and fish parts in the trash.
  5. Do Not Dump unwanted aquarium plants and animals into waterways. 

Learn the best methods and more details for cleaning, draining, and drying at the

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers website.

Know Your Invasives

Learn to recognize invasive species you may encounter on your waters.

Managment Resources

Get Involved

Report invasives found in and on the water and assist early detection efforts. 

Aid Early Detection Efforts

Searching for invasive species populations in an effort to detect their presence before their populations become too large to manage is vital to reducing the impacts of invasive species on our natural ecosystems.

Click the link below to learn more about the species we’re enhancing early detection efforts for and to join our invasive species Volunteer Surveillance Network to aid this effort (training will be provided). 

Report Invasive Species

NYiMapInvasives is an online, collaborative, GIS-based database and mapping tool that serves as the official invasive species database for New York State.

 Click the links below to become familiar with iMap

Join a statewide early detection effort for spotted lanternfly and tree of heaven by adopting a grid square to survey for these species through iMapInvasives. 


Watch webinars, view brochures, and access other resources to help you protect your lands and trails from invasive species. 

The Invasive Plant Management Decision Analysis Tool (IPMDAT) helps natural resource managers to determine if an invasive plant control project is likely to be successful and if it warrants an investment of their agency’s or organizations resources.

Find public boat launches near you with watercraft inspection stewards and boat decontamination services in New York State. Stewards help raise awareness of invasive species and inspect boats for the presence of invasives to prevent their spread into new waterbodies. Boat decontamination stations are available at select locations to provide a free boat wash to kill and remove aquatic invasive species from the watercraft. 


Enviromental DNA: An Early Detection Tool

Leveraging genetic material to aid early detection of aquatic native and invasive species. 

Local Government Aquatic Invasive Species Toolkit

Assists local governments with navigating the regulatory framework associated with high-risk priority aquatic invasive species. 

The Great Lakes Hydrilla Collaborative is a platform for sharing the most up-to-date research and best management practices to inform stakeholders about the prevention and management of hydrilla.

The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative is a network of agencies, organizations, and citizens who are engaged in Phragmites in some way, including management, research, and communication.

Great online source for plant identification and engagement with a community of plant enthusiasts.   

The Starry Stonewort Collaborative is a program that brings together and increases the capacity of researchers, collaborators, and concerned citizens to further research and control the invasive aquatic species starry stonewort. Through increased outreach, citizen involvement, and teamwork, together we can help stop this harmful macroalgae.

Lake, Pond, and Fisheries Management Knowledge Bank. 

Apps That Explore Nature

An easy-to-use mobile apps that helps you identify native and invasive plants and animals. 

Outreach Materials/Guides

A list of regulated and prohibited invasive plants in New York State.

A list of regulated and prohibited invasive animals in New York State.

Native and invasive aquatic invasive species identification field guide. 

A guide to native and invasive plants and animals to utilize and avoid in water gardens.

This is a guide to native plants on New York’s Great Lakes shorelines. In it, you’ll learn about plants and techniques to stabilize the shoreline, increase drainage and lots more helpful information.

Tench Identification Poster

Created by our partners at Save the River.

Aquatic Invasive Species Flyer

Created by our partners at Save the River.

Protect Your Waters Flyer

Created by the NYSDEC

Protect Your Waters

This brochure features survey techniques for hydrilla, water chestnut, and fanwort.

Protect Your Waters Brochure

Created by the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program PRISM (ADK PRISM)

Protect Your Waters Poster

Created by the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program PRISM (ADK PRISM)


This discussion provideS a bird’s-eye view of the Indian River Lakes watershed and explore funding sources and invasive species management permit needs, along with an overview of aquatic invasive species that may be invading your dock or shoreline and what steps you need to take to help manage them.

Presented by: 

Brittney Rogers– SLELO PRISM 

Sarah Trick-IRLC

Emily Sheridan– NYSDEC

Jessica Hart-NYSDEC

Our partners at the Lower Hudson PRISM have made excellent identification videos on YouTube.

Check out this playlist with a variety of invasive aquatic plants you may encounter.