Programs & Initiatives

Aquatic Invaders in the Marketplace

Many of the plants and animals available in the marketplace can negatively impact ecosystems, economies, and public health when introduced to new freshwater habitats. These species can be spread—both accidentally and on purpose—in a variety of ways. Some of the most notorious invasive species were spread through the trade of aquatic species.

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Be A Hero—Transport Zero

Invasive species—non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that cause harm to natural areas—impact both our economy and the environment. Their environmental impacts can affect outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, and birding. You can help prevent these impacts—”Be A Hero” and join the more than 90 percent of outdoor enthusiasts in Illinois who are already fighting the spread of invaders.

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Invasive Crayfish Collaborative

Invasive crayfish pose a substantial threat to aquatic habitats in the Great Lakes region because of their ability to reduce habitat quality and dramatically alter aquatic food webs. Currently, efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive crayfish consist largely of reducing the size of existing populations and encouraging people to refrain from releasing crayfish into new bodies of water. The Invasive Crayfish Collaborative focuses on improving upon our collective management and outreach capabilities.

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Contact Info

Topic Specialist

Katie O'Reilly
Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist

Research Projects

Carolyn Foley
Research Coordinator


Ethan Chitty
Administrative Assistant

Education & Training

Terri Hallesy
Education Coordinator
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