Illegal Aquatic Plants
Preventing the occurrence and spread of aquatic weed infestations in public waters can save millions of public and private dollars each year in avoided water impacts and control costs. Because prevention is so important, South Carolina, like several states, has adopted laws which prohibit the importation and distribution of specific exotic aquatic plant species known to cause problems.
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The South Carolina Noxious Weed Act and State Crop Pest Act provides far reaching powers to seize, quarantine, treat, destroy, apply other remedial measures, to export, return to shipping point, or otherwise dispose of in such a manner as (it) deems appropriate, any noxious weed or any product or article of any character whatsoever or any means of conveyance which (it) has reason to believe contains or is contaminated with any noxious weed, offered for movement, moving, or has moved into or through the state or intrastate.
The Aquatic Nuisance Species Program of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Aquatic Plant Management Council are working with Clemson University's Department of Plant Industry and the SC Department of Agriculture to improve the implementation of this law as it relates to nuisance aquatic plants. Educating the public and the plant nursery industry about the law and the potential problems associated with certain aquatic plants is an important component of the prevention effort.