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What DEP is Doing

DEP takes the threat invasive species pose very seriously. In recognition of the growing threat of invasive species in the watershed, DEP formed the Invasive Species Working Group. The Working Group met for the first time in 2008 and provides staff from across the Bureau of Water Supply with a forum to meet regularly to coordinate efforts to prevent the introduction of new invasive species to water supply lands, reservoirs, and streams, support early detection and rapid response to emerging invasive species of concern, and to control existing invasive species problems.

Since 2008 the Working Group has:

  • Assessed a wide range of invasive species and developed a priority list
  • Provided trainings and workshops for DEP staff on a range of topics from Asian longhorned beetle identification to giant hogweed safety
  • Developed protocols to decontaminate gear that has been exposed to certain invasive species
  • Engaged in invasive species control on forest management projects
  • Initiated a rapid response eradication effort to an early detection of swallow-wort
  • Created an Early Detection and Rapid Response Plan to deal with emerging threats (link to PDF of ED/RR Plan)

Learn more about some of the projects we have been working on lately:

Emerald Ash Borer Spread Prevention
When the emerald ash borer—a small green beetle from Asia that only attacks ash trees—was first found in the watershed in 2010, DEP foresters knew that it would only be a matter of time before all of the ash trees were lost.
Learn more

Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention
Aquatic organisms like the spiny water flea, hydrilla, and zebra mussel have the potential to negatively impact water quality, limit recreation opportunities, and increase the cost of delivering clean drinking water.
Learn more

Early Detection / Rapid Response Planning
Finding invasive species early generally allows you to conduct a “rapid response,” or to control the small population, eliminating it quickly before it becomes too difficult or costly to control.
Learn more

DEP works with local partner organizations on these issues through the New York State Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) for the Catskills and Lower Hudson Valley.

For more information about PRISMs visit:

At the statewide level DEP represents water suppliers on the New York State Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC), a group of organizations working to advise decision-makers in the state on priority invasive species issues.

For more information about NYS ISAC visit:

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