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Natural Resources Commission Bans Sale of 28 Aquatic Plants

A new rule prohibits sale of certain aquatic plants in Indiana in an effort to decrease the number of water bodies clogged with invasive species.

Invasive aquatic plant floating in a water body.

Photo: Chesapeake Bay Program

Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil) is one of the plants now banned in the state of Indiana.

No one in Indiana may sell or distribute 28 aquatic plants found on a list published by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission. The new rule goes into effect August 31.

Plants earned a spot on this list based on the species’ ability for unchecked growth to the point of harming or excluding other plants and animals. This invasive growth can limit recreation and boat passage, among other issues.

Speaking on behalf of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Philip Marshall provides an example of the cost created when one of the plants, hydrilla, took over Lake Manitou in northern Indiana.

“We spent about a million dollars to get that plant out of that lake,” Marshall says. “And during that time the lake was quarantined.”

Dan Lamberson, owner of Aquatic Design and Supplies in Monrovia, says the rule leaves him with about $4,000 in plants that he cannot sell.

“I’m going to have to dry them out and pitch them,” Lamberson says.

When crafting the rule, Marshall says that the Natural Resources Commission considered the potential impact on businesses that sell aquatic plants.

“There are also alternative plants that are acceptable that they can use that will do just the same thing as the plants that are banned by this new rule,” Marshall says. “And the other thing is that right now is the time when they are starting to plan for next season, so that’s an opportunity for them to switch away from these banned plants and bring something else in.”

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