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.

"fight the spread of aquatic invaders" sign next to boat launch

Aquatic invaders like zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, and the fish disease viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) are non-native species that cause damage to watercraft and equipment, and can interfere with our enjoyment of water recreation. These organisms also harm native plants and animals, reduce habitat for wildlife, change natural ecosystems, create health risks for humans, and result in negative economic impacts.

​Easily overlooked, the main way that these aquatic invaders spread is by hitching rides on boats, trailers, and gear used by anglers, boaters, and other recreationists. If you leave a water access site without taking precautions, you may be transporting these harmful organisms from one body of water to another.

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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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