The mission of the Rhode Island Invasive Species Council is to protect native biodiversity in Rhode Island. According to the Executive Order on Invasive Species, “invasive species means an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” The Rhode Island Invasive Species Council will gather and convey information on the presence, distribution, ecological and economic impacts, and management of invasive species; promote uses of native species and non-invasive alternatives throughout Rhode Island; and work cooperatively with researchers, conservation organizations, government agencies, the green industries, and the general public to identify and manage invasive species pro-actively and effectively.

Overall goals of Rhode Island Invasive Species Council are:

  • to protect native biodiversity;
  • to conduct scientifically based assessment;
  • to promote the use of native and non-invasive non-native alternatives;
  • to manage and control invasives in minimally-managed habitats;
  • to encourage research on control methods;
  • to develop assessment methods for potential invasiveness;
  • to educate the general public;
  • to work cooperatively among all involved parties.

Where are invasive species in RI?
Good information on invasive species locations is of utmost importance for a variety of prevention and management purposes. RIISC supports a variety of mapping efforts in the state and beyond. Learn about these efforts at the RIISC Invasive Species Mapping page.

How bad are invasive species in RI?
In 2011, RIISC began assisting the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program and URI’s coastal institute with a project called Watershed Counts. Watershed Counts is a collaborative effort by a large number of groups in the region to quantify environmental condition and change through time in simple terms, digesting existing scientific knowledge and publicizing the results in ways that will inform and engage the general public. Watershed Counts is funded by grants from the Rhode Island Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Healthy Communities Grant Program.

RIISC’s role is to develop a metric for invasive species that incorporates both on-the ground measurements of invasives extent and impact and assessments of invasive survey and management efforts. The development process includes meetings, surveys, and other communications. Learn more on the Invasives Metric Project Page.

In 2001, the RIISC agreed to a list of invasive plants in Rhode Island. The list is broken up into the following categories:
Widespread and Invasive
Restricted and Invasive
Invasive but Need More Information
Needs More Research and Monitoring/Observation
Potentially Invasive

Download a copy of the 2001 invasive plant list. PDF/90KB

For more information on the 2001 RIISC process, visit our Invasive Species Resources page.

The Rhode Island Invasive Species Council is an outreach program of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, The Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station, and The University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension.