Suffolk County Protecting Native Species
Water and Land Invasive Species Advisory Board
Invasive species have been recognized as a serious threat to native plants and animals as well as the environment that sustain the resources for the native species to survive. Once our local natural resources are endangered by invasive species, the local economy is also threatened as native species are displaced and even locally vanished by highly competitive invasive species. The Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning recognizes this issue and supports and plays an active part on several programs and projects that aim to protect our waters and native environment. As a member of the Suffolk County Invasive Species Advisory Board, the Department is engaged in finding ways to reduce and control invasive species which represent a serious problem affecting our environment and water bodies.
Suffolk County continues to be a leader in policies and initiatives aiming for the control of invasive species -- the need to keep waters open for fishing, boating and swimming, our lands walkable, and our natural areas rich in native biodiversity. Through resolution 985-2005, the County convened the Water and Land Invasives Control Task Force in an effort to define the critical components needed for an effective county-wide invasives program. A set of strategies to reduce and manage invasive plants and animals and their harmful impacts, to prevent new invasions through early detection and rapid response measures, and to promote public education on issues related to invasive species were developed.
Suffolk County Local Law No. 22-2007, Adopted 6-26-2007 (Ch. 278A, Art. II, of the 1985 Code), prohibits the sale, introduction and propagation of invasive plants and provides a list of 63 species that are or will be banned in Suffolk County. For more information on the law and its enforcement, and how you can collaborate in the enforcement of this law, please contact the Department of Consumer Affairs website:http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/consumeraffairs.aspx
Suffolk County proudly became the first county in New York State to adopt a “do-not-sell list”, prohibiting the sale of 63 invasive plant species in 2007. Pursuant to the enacting legislation, the Suffolk County Water and Land Invasives Advisory Board developed annual recommendations for revisions to the “do not sell list.” The Advisory Board submits its recommendations to the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning, and its Divisions of Planning and Environment, and Water Quality Improvement, and the Suffolk County Legislature.
The LIISMA website has more information on local invasives legislation and the scientific ranking system developed to determine analytically whether a species is highly invasive (see http://nyis.info/LIISMA/Legislation.aspx).
Overview of the Water and Land Invasives Advisory Board
The Suffolk County Water and Land Invasives Advisory Board was created in 2009 to implement the county-wide invasives program (i.e, Task Force Report recommendations). The Board is composed of members from different County agencies and departments, the Legislature, industry and environmental groups and works together with The Nature Conservancy, Long Island Invasive Species Management Area (LIISMA), the Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association, Long Island Farm Bureau, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Soil & Water Conservation District, Suffolk County Department of Parks, Nassau County Department of Parks, Nassau County Department of Public Works, New York City Department of Parks, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, LI Botanical Society, and many individual botanists and field scientists. The Board is well represented by its members’ interests, training and knowledge to develop and implement a vision for better action and coordination for invasive species management.
In 2007, Suffolk and Nassau Counties became the first Counties in New York State to take a key step in slowing the spread of invasive species by outlawing the sale, transport, distribution, and propagation of 63 invasive plant species. As part of a long-term invasive species management plan, this law is a major move in the fight against the spread of these species into our lands and waters. The ban on 56 of these species became effective January 1, 2009, but of these, only 9 are widely commercially sold (Table 1). The ban includes each plant’s cultivars.
Table 1. Commercially-sold Species on the “Do Not Sell” list
Which went into effect in 2009
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Porcelain-berry
Eleagnus umbellata Autumn olive
Lespedeza cuneata Chinese lespedeza
Ligustrum obtusifolium Border privet
Lythrum salicaria Purple loosestrife
Ranunculus ficaria Lesser celandine
Rhamnus cathartica Common buckthorn
Rosamultiflora Multiflora rose
Rubus phoenicolasias Maxim. Wineberry
For More Information:
Suffolk County Resolution 1108-2005, Adopting Local Law To Prevent The Spread of Invasive Non-Native Aquatic Plants and Animals: http://legis.suffolkcountyny.gov/resos2005/i1727-05.htm
Suffolk County Resolution 594-2011 containing the Do-Not Sell List: http://legis.suffolkcountyny.gov/resos2011/i1425-11.pdf
Long Island Invasive Species Management Area: http://nyis.info/liisma/default.aspx
Species’ invasiveness assessments can be found at www.liinvasives.org
Do-Not Sell List
For more information about the do-not-sell list, invasive plants, non-invasive alternative plants, and the program in general, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com
We Need Your Help: You need be part of this effort through your gardening habits, by planting ornamental native plants over invasive species. There are also many non-native, NON-invasive ornamental plants that make great selections.
What is an invasive species? An invasive species is legally defined as an organism that is not native to the ecosystem under consideration AND whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm to the environment, economy, and/or human health.
The National Invasive Species Council (http://www.invasivespecies.gov/) defines an invasive species as “a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” For more information follow this link: http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/docs/council/isacdef.pdf
How do these species harm the environment? Invasive plants invade natural ecosystems and displace the native flora. This in turn affects wildlife and other species which may be dependent upon the local flora for food or habitat. By replacing the native plants, invasive species disrupt natural ecosystem processes such as hydrology (movement of water), nutrient cycling, wildfire regime, natural succession, and soil conservation. This leads to ecological instability and decreased biodiversity.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County has published 2 brochures that provide you with information on invasive plants and Native-Friendly Plants - Alternatives to Ornamental Invasive Plants (http://ccesuffolk.org/nursery-and-landscape-current-projects):
To download a brochure on frequently asked questions relating to invasive plants on Long Island: http://ccesuffolk.org/assets/galleries/Agriculture/Commercial-Nursery-and-Landscape-Management/Website-FAQ-on-Invasives-Brochure-2012.pdf
To download the list of alternatives to ornamental invasive plants:http://ccesuffolk.org/assets/galleries/Agriculture/Commercial-Nursery-and-Landscape-Management/Alternatives-to-Invasive-Plants-Revised-6-2012-compressed.pdf