How do I determine if a suspicious aquatic plant is an invasive and report it?

First Step - Submit a digital photo to ME DEP:Text Box:  Photo by Don Cameron, Maine Natural Areas Program

The DEP requests that a good quality digital photograph first be sent to the DEP if possible.  A clear, close-up image showing the plant’s characteristics is important for identification. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Collect a sample by snipping off the top of a healthy stem from the plant, about 12 inches long. 
  2. Float the sample in a tray to fully stretch it out. You can cut the plant into sections to fit into the tray. Ideally the tray bottom should be white to highlight the plant characteristics.
  3. Take a close-up digital photo showing the leaf characteristics and their arrangement on the stem (see photos).  The image should show the greatest amount of detail possible.  Be sure to minimize glare.
  4. E-mail images to for identification.  In your email include your name, phone number, date of collection, name of the waterbody and town name.
  5. IMPORTANT: Keep the plant cool and moist in your refrigerator until you hear back from DEP. If DEP can not identify the plant, you may be asked to send the plant through the US postal system following the steps below. Text Box:  Photo by Don Cameron, Maine Natural Areas Program

Follow-up Step - Mail a plant sample if requested by DEP:

  1. Place the moist plant sample in a sealable plastic bag (e.g., Ziploc). Include your name, phone number, email address, name of the waterbody, date of collection and the town in which it is located. Also note on envelope or box, “Plant Sample.”
  2. Mail in suitable padded envelope or box to: Maine DEP Invasive Species Program, 17 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333.
  3. IMPORTANT: Mail the sample early in the week so that your sample doesn’t spend the weekend in the post office. You can keep it in the refrigerator until it’s ready for mailing. The fresher the plant sample, the more likely we will be able to identify it.
  4. NOTIFY the day you send the plant sample so we know it is coming and can notify our mail room to alert us.  Maine DEP staff will contact you after identifying the plant.