Invasive Species Laws

  • Laws and regulations at the state and federal level are designed to stop the introduction and spread of invasive species. These laws are often complicated. Following a few best practices can keep you on the right side of the law.

  • Boating laws - stop aquatic hitchhikers

    Michigan law requires that after trailering boats, and before getting on the road, boaters must pull plugs, drain water and remove plants and debris.

  • Bait and fish release laws

    Dispose of bait on land or in the trash to stop the spread of invasive species and fish disease. 

  • Don't Move Firewood

    Invasive insects and diseases have killed millions of our trees - often after hitching a ride on firewood. Help protect our parks - use certified heat-treated firewood sold in parks, local stores and roadside stands.

  • Don't buy, sell, keep or move invasive species

    Many invasive species are prohibited or restricted by state or federal laws. 

  • Registration to sell aquatic organisms

    State law requires anyone selling live, non-native aquatic organisms in Michigan to register and annually report to the Department of Natural Resources.Get information including registration, reporting and trade show notification forms.

  • Gypsy moth - federal law

    DON'T MAKE A MOVE until you check for the Gypsy Moth. Anyone moving out of state must comply with this federal quarantine regulation. 

  • Ships - ballast water management practices

    It is a goal of this state to prevent the introduction of and minimize the spread of aquatic nuisance species within the Great Lakes. Learn about ballast water control port operations and ballast water discharge related information.

State and Federal Laws
State Laws and Regulations

Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act - NREPA (451 of 1994, as amended)

“AN ACT to protect the environment and natural resources of the state; to codify, revise, consolidate, and classify laws relating to the environment and natural resources of the state; to regulate the discharge of certain substances into the environment; to regulate the use of certain lands, waters, and other natural resources of the state; to protect the people's right to hunt and fish; to prescribe the powers and duties of certain state and local agencies and officials; to provide for certain charges, fees, assessments, and donations; to provide certain appropriations; to prescribe penalties and provide remedies; and to repeal acts and parts of acts.”   

Prohibited and restricted species in Michigan

Part 413 of NREPA (Section 324.41301) defines prohibited and restricted species in Michigan and limits the possession, import or sale of such species.

Aquatic nuisance control

Part 33 of NREPA, Aquatic Nuisance Control (Section 33), defines permitted actions and procedures for the treatment of aquatic nuisance species.


Federal Laws and Regulations

The Lacey Act:

Under the Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42, as amended), the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to regulate the importation and transport of species, including offspring and eggs, determined to be injurious to the health and welfare of humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture or forestry, and the welfare and survival of wildlife resources of the U.S.  These injurious species may not be imported into or transported between states, districts or territories of the U.S. without a permit issued by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 2008 Farm Bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), amended the Lacey Act by expanding its protection to a broader range of plants and plant products. The Lacey Act now also makes it unlawful to import certain plants and plant products without an import declaration.   

Species Injurious to Wildlife:

A current list of species considered injurious to wildlife under the Lacey Act: 

The Plant Protection Act of 2000, (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.)

Includes the Noxious Weed Control and Eradication Act of 2004. Regulates the movement of plants, plant products, biological control organisms, and noxious weeds and authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to “publish, by regulation, a list of noxious weeds that are prohibited or restricted from entering the United States or that are subject to restrictions on interstate movement within the United States.” Plant Protection Act and Noxious Weed Control and Eradication Act of 2004 

The Federal Noxious Weed List

Expresses the noxious weeds that are prohibited or restricted from entering or being transported throughout the United States.  

The Clean Boating Act of 2008 (Jul 29, 2008)

Directs EPA to develop management practices for recreational vessels to mitigate adverse effects from recreational boat discharges, such as bilgewater, graywater and deck runoff, that may contain substances harmful to water quality or spread invasive species.  f

The National Invasive Species Act of 1996

(Public Law 104-332), a reauthorization and amendment of the Non-Indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-646), is intended to prevent invasive species from entering inland waters through ballast water.  

Transportation of water hyacinths 18 U.S. Code § 46

Prohibits interstate transportation, delivery, receipt or sales of alligator grass (alternanthera philoxeroides), or water chestnut plants (trapa natans) or water hyacinth plants (eichhornia crassipes) or the seeds of such grass or plants.

Ballast water

In addition to state laws there are a variety of federal and international laws regarding ballast water. Contact EGLE for additional information.