How You Can Help Fight Invasive Species

March. 2016

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar Lindsay Marks is fighting invasive species in and around Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary -- and you can help! Learn how in her video.


We need your help to fight marine invasive species.

Marine invasives are saltwater species that are not native to an area and they have unwanted impacts in their new location.

These species are transported from their homes to faraway places as hitchhikers aboard ships or as aquarium pets released back into the wild.

They can then be spread across local waters by boats, divers, and fishermen. Marine invasive species cause major economic and ecological impacts, costing billions of dollars each year to manage.

If you're a certified diver you can help us with this challenging problem.

We're currently looking for two invasive algae spreading across the coast of Southern California and the Channel Islands.

They're called Sargassum horneri and Underia pinnatifida.

We need your help to track these dangerous characters, pinpointing exactly where you've seen them.

When you find an invasive seaweed, record the species, water depth, life stage, and the habitat where you saw it. Make sure you don't remove it. It's easily spread.

Photos of the invasive algae are important too. If you have a camera, be sure to take a picture.

Once you're back on board, record your GPS location and the name of the site where you were diving.

And before you leave a dive site, make sure to check your gear and anchor and removing any hitchhiking seaweed.

Back on land, report the invasive species you saw at

With this important data, we'll be able to document the spread and contain and minimize the impacts of the invasion.

Have fun diving and remember to report your sighting. Thanks for your help.

More Information

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program

Sentinel Site National Issue: Invasive Species

What is an invasive species?