Aquatic nuisance (or invasive) species (ANS) are nonindigenous species that threaten the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural, or recreational activities dependent on such waters. ANS include nonindigenous species that may occur in our waters and that presently or potentially threaten ecological processes and natural resources. In addition to adversely affecting activities dependent on waters of the United States, ANS adversely affects individuals, including health effects.
Invasive species affect ecosystem structure and function, resulting in a loss of biodiveristy or unique habitats. They cause economic and environmental damage as well as detrimentally affect human use of our natural resources by permanently degrading the habitats they invade, hindering economic development, reducing or eliminating recreational and commercial activities, decreasing the aesthetics of our environment and serving as vectors of disease.