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History

Invasive aquatic plants were first documented in the United States in 1884 Louisiana, where the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) was on display at the New Orleans Cotton Exposition. The plant was transported to Florida, and by 1896, tremendous growths of water hyacinths in the St. Johns River were responsible for such navigational hazards as preventing steamboats from reaching their wharves in Palatka; pushing river boats out of the main channel; and stranding fishermen until plant mats were broken up by winds. With commercial river traffic severely impeded in both Louisiana and Florida, the citizens petitioned Congress for assistance. The Sundry Civil Act, approved June 4, 1897, authorized the expenditure of $5,000 for investigation into the extent of plant obstruction to navigable waterways in Florida and Louisiana and possible methods of control.

Chapter 425 of The River and Harbor Act of March 3, 1899, authorized the expenditure of $36,000 for the construction of two boats with log booms, and operating costs, to remove the water hyacinths impacting Florida and Louisiana. The Act was amended on June 13, 1902, to include navigable waters in the state of Texas. Funds in the amount of $50,000 were to be used, at the discretion of Secretary of War, in the extermination or removal of such plants by mechanical, chemical, or other means. The River and Harbor Act was further amended in 1905 and 1912, and again in 1916 to include Mississippi in the program.

The "Comprehensive Survey for Removal of Water Hyacinths and Other Marine Vegetable Growths," dated November 1, 1948, provided a synopsis of waterhyacinth and alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) infestations within the South Atlantic Division. This report also recommended that the existing Federal project be expanded to include other detrimental aquatic plants, and that the project be administered by the Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation with other Federal, State and local agencies. It further urged Congress to enact legislation to prohibit the interstate transport of waterhyacinth and alligatorweed. However, at that time, all funding was to be used exclusively for keeping the principal waterways reasonably clear for navigation.

Recognizing the effectiveness of the herbicide 2,4-D on waterhyacinth, Congress enacted The River and Harbor Act of July 3, 1958, Public Law 85-500, Section 104. This expanded the program to include "...alligatorweed and other obnoxious plant growths from the navigable waters, tributary streams, connecting channels, and other allied waters in the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, in the combined interest of navigation, flood control, drainage, agriculture, fish and wildlife conservation, public health and related purposes including continuous research into efficient methods for aquatic plant control." This program was a 5-year pilot project, with an additional cost of $1,350,000 to be 70% Federally funded and 30% locally funded. Results of the Expanded Project were forwarded by the Chief of Engineers to the Secretary of the Army and subsequently to Congress. The report recommended that a continuing nationwide program should be authorized "...for the control of obnoxious aquatic plants, wherever such plants constitute a serious threat to navigation, agriculture, public health, the efficient operation of drainage and flood control works, or use of the Nation's waterways."

The Expanded Project For Aquatic Plant Control was approved on October 27, 1965. Public Law 89-298, Section 302, which amended the River and Harbor Act of July 3, 1958, Section 104, authorized a cost shared comprehensive program to provide for control and progressive eradication of waterhyacinth, alligatorweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, and other obnoxious aquatic plant growths from the navigable waters, tributary streams, connecting channels, and other allied waters of the United States. This law also provided that costs for research and planning undertaken pursuant to the authorities of this section shall be borne fully by the Federal Government. The Aquatic Plant Control (APC) Program was created, with an annual funding ceiling of $5,000,000, and incorporated the sharing of operational costs at 30% non-Federal and 70% Federal. In response to increasing aquatic plant problems, Public Law 98-63 increased the annual spending authority to $10,000,000 in 1983. In 1986, the Water Resources Development Act, Public Law 99-662, increased the annual APC spending authority to $12,000,000 and changed the non-Federal cost share of program operations from 30% to 50%.

APC operations and research continued, until it was learned that the President's Fiscal Year 1996 Budget proposed zero funding for the Aquatic Plant Control program. This was being done in an effort to streamline the Federal Government and phase out the Corps role in projects which are not of national significance. Projects of national significance are defined as those which provide commercial navigation, interstate flood control, environmental restoration, and contribute significantly to the national economy. The House of Representatives went along with this proposal; the Senate, however, put $5,000,000 back into the APC program with the provision that the money go to the highest priority. The Senate also stated that the APC program is a project of national significance. After House-Senate reconciliation, a Congressional addition to the budget of $4,000,000 was approved; $1.5 million was allocated to the general work allowance for aquatic plant control, the other $2.5 million allocated to research.

The future of the Aquatic Plant Control operational program weakened further with the President's Fiscal Year 1997 budget, which proposed $2,500,000 in funding solely for the research component of the Aquatic Plant Control Program. Consistent with the President's national performance goals, the Administration has proposed shifting responsibilities for many water projects to non-federal levels of Government and to the private sector. The cost-shared control operations component of the APC Program was identified as one of those which provide primarily local benefits and, are within the financial and institutional capabilities of State and local governments. The President's Fiscal Year 1997 budget for the Corps of Engineers did not include funding for the continuance of cost-shared control operations under the APC Program. The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1997 does provide $2,000,000 in APC Program funding, allocated solely for aquatic plant research to be conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station.

Waterhyacinth now infests all of the Gulf Coast states and continues into the Carolinas. The most severe impacts are felt in Florida, California, Louisiana and Texas. Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), introduced into Florida in the 1950's, has spread into all of the Gulf and Atlantic Coast states, as well as Tennessee, Washington, DC, and California. Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), introduced into the DC area in 1941, has spread to 33 states. Also in 1996, the Water Resources Development Act, Section 225, added the melaleuca tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia) to the list of aquatic plants considered under the APC program.

*Laws of the United States to Improvements of Rivers and Harbors

Authorized Programs Overview

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In the late 1880's and early 1890's, populations of water hyacinth expanded, and problems associated with the plant increased. Commercial river traffic was impeded. Faced with mounting problems, the citizens of Florida and Louisiana petitioned Congress for assistance. The effect was that certain aquatic plant management operation directives, known as the Removal of Aquatic Growths (RAG) Project, were included in the Rivers and Harbors Act (R&HA) of 1899.

The Corps was tasked to solve the problem, since many affected waterways were federal navigation projects. The RAG Project, funded at 100% Federal cost, was limited to such projects in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

The R&HA of 1899 was amended by the R&HA of 1902, which allowed for the extermination and removal of water hyacinths by mechanical, chemical, or other means, and by the R&HA of 1905, which prohibited the use, only in Florida, of any chemical process injurious to cattle. Cattle were apparently attracted by the saltpeter on the treated water hyacinth, ate the plants, and died.

In 1945, the Committee on Rivers and Harbors of the House of Representatives adopted a resolution charging the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors with the responsibility of determining if an expansion of the original 1899 authorization was advisable.

This review called for “control and progressive eradication of the water hyacinth, alligator weed and other detrimental aquatic plant growths from the watercourses." It became a 1956 House Document entitled '”Water-Hyacinth Obstructions in the Waters of the Gulf and South Atlantic States."

This action resulted in the enactment of Public Law (PL) 85-500, Section 104, R &HA of 1958, which provided for a 5-year pilot project, referred to as “The Expanded Project for Aquatic Plant Control" with an annual funding cap of $1.5 million. The Expanded Project extended control operations from federal navigation project waters to those tributary areas beyond the limits of navigation, and added Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

In addition, PL 85-500 required that "local interests agree to hold and save the United States free from claims that may occur from such operations and participate to the extent of 30 per cent of the cost of the additional research program." Also included was a non-federal contribution for 30 per cent of operation costs.

Results of the Expanded Project were later forwarded by the Chief of Engineers to the Secretary of the Army and subsequently to Congress. The report recommended that a 'project approach’ was no longer desirable, and that ‘a continuing nationwide program' should be authorized "for the control of obnoxious aquatic plants wherever infestations of such plants constitute a serious threat to navigation, agriculture, public health, the efficient operation of drainage and flood control works, or the use of the Nation's waterways.'”

Consequently, PL 85-500 was amended by PL 89-298, Section 302, which was approved in 1965. Public Law 89-298 authorized “a comprehensive program to provide for control and progressive eradication of water-hyacinth, alligator weed, Eurasian water-milfoil, and other obnoxious aquatic plant growths, from the navigable waters, tributary streams, connecting channels, and other allied waters of the United States." This law also provided that "costs for research and planning undertaken pursuant to the authorities of this section shall be borne fully by the Federal government.'” The Aquatic Plant Control (APC) Program was created, with an annual funding ceiling of $5 million.

The APC program is not an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) program. Aquatic plant control necessary for O&M of authorized reservoirs, channels, harbors, or other water areas under the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers or other federal agencies, will not be undertaken as part of the APC program except as such areas may be used for experimental purposes.

In response to increasing problems and needs, this ceiling was increased to $10 million in 1983 (PL 9863). The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (PL 99-662) changed the non-federal share of APC Program operations from 30 to 50 per cent and increased the annual funding ceiling to $12 million. Local sponsors can, however, contribute more than 50 per cent of the program cost.

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) aquatic plant control activities are conducted at 100% federal cost within the boundaries of Corps’ managed water resource development projects. The goals and objectives of these O&M programs are basically the same as those of the above referenced APC Program.

Legislative Overview

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Chapter 425, authorized the expenditure of $25,000 for the construction of two boats to remove water hyacinths, $1,000 for log booms to use with the boats, and $10,000 for operating costs in the States of Florida and Louisiana.

Chapter 1079, allowed “for the removal of water hyacinth from the navigable waters of the States of Florida, Texas, and Louisiana as far as it is an obstruction ($50,000 allocated). Funds may, in the discretion of the Secretary of War, be used in the exterminating or removing of such plant by any mechanical, chemical or other means whatsoever.”

Chapter 1482, allowed "for the removal of the water hyacinth from the navigable waters of the State of Florida, so far as it is or may become an obstruction to navigation ($25,000 allocated), provided that no chemical process injurious to cattle which may feed on water hyacinth shall be used.'”
Chapter 253, authorized the removal of water hyacinth in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, and at the discretion of the Secretary of War, any of the unexpended balance of appropriations from the States of Louisiana and Texas be expended for the removal of water hyacinths from the navigable waters in the State of Mississippi, and the operating plant pertaining to the work in Louisiana, is made available for use in Mississippi.
Authorized the removal of water hyacinth from the navigable waters of Florida, as it is or may become an obstruction to navigation, and allocated $10,000.

An interim report from the South Atlantic Division (SAD) Field Committee entitled “Comprehensive Survey for Removal of Water Hyacinths and Other Marine Vegetable Growths" dated November 1, 1948 provided a synopsis of water hyacinth and alligator weed infestations within SAD, control methods, and national program recommendations. The total federal cost of water hyacinth control in SAD as of June 30, 1948 was $1,344,868.98. The average annual for the previous five years was $68,398.58. These expenditures were for keeping only the principal navigable waterways reasonably clear for navigation. Total economic benefit for the control of water hyacinths alone was estimated at $4,751,000. Costs for alligator weed control or economic benefits due to a control program were not calculated. The report recommended that the existing federal project be expanded to include other detrimental aquatic plants, that the project be administered by the Corps of Engineers in cooperation with other federal, state, and local agencies, that research be continued for development of new and more effective control measures, and that Congress enact legislation to prohibit the interstate transport of water hyacinth and alligator weed.

”Expanded Project for Aquatic Plant Control'”, Public Law 85-500, Section 104, expanded the program to include control of "...alligator weed and other obnoxious aquatic plant growths, from the navigable waters, tributary streams, connecting channels, and other allied waters in the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, in the combined interest of navigation, flood control, drainage, agriculture, fish and wildlife conservation, public health and related purposes including continuous research into efficient methods for aquatic plant control." The additional cost of the program was estimated at $1,350,000 annually for five years, with 70% of costs ($945,000) in federal funds and 30% of costs ($405,000) in local funds annually. This program was a 5-year pilot project.

Public Law 87-874, Section 104 amended the Rivers and Harbors Act of July 3, 1958, Section 104. This provided that the federal government would fully bear the costs for research and planning prior to construction and that these costs would not be included in the costs shared by the local interests.

Results of the Expanded Project were later forwarded by the Chief of Engineers to the Secretary of the Army and subsequently to Congress. The report recommended that a 'project approach’ was no longer desirable, and that 'a continuing nationwide program' should be authorized "for the control of obnoxious aquatic plants, wherever infestations of such plants constitute a serious threat to navigation, agriculture, public health, the efficient operation of drainage and flood control works, or the use of the Nation's waterways.

A letter from the Secretary of the Army, House Doc. 251 for the “Expanded Project for Aquatic Plant Control”, dated July 28, 1965. Florida and Louisiana, at the time of this report, had the most extensive infestations of aquatic plants than any of the other states. Costs for aquatic plant control operations in Florida alone, through 30 September 1963, were at $1,578,960. The most extensive infestations were in the basins of the St. Johns, Caloosahatchee, Withlacoochee, Ocklawaha, and Kissimmee Rivers, and in Lake Okeechobee and its tributaries.

Public Law 89-298, Section 302 amended the Rivers and Harbors Act of July 3, 1958, Section 104. This allowed for the expansion of the program to include control of '”...Eurasian water-milfoil, and other obnoxious aquatic plant growths, from the navigable waters, tributary streams, connecting channels, and other allied waters of the United States...'” This act also incorporated the sharing of operational costs, 30% non-federal and 70% federal dollars. Total APC spending was not to exceed $5,000,000 in federal spending annually.

In response to increasing problems and needs, the spending authority was increased to $10,000,000 in 1983, Public Law 98-63.

Public Law 99-662, changed the non-federal share of the APC program operations from 30% to 50%, and increased the annual spending authority to $12,000,000. Local sponsor can, however, contribute more than 50% of the program cost.

Beginning in 1986, a biennial WRDA cycle has been essentially followed with the enactments of WRDAs of 1988 (P.L. 100-676), 1990 (P.L. 101-640), 1992 (P.L. 102-580), 1996 (P.L. 104-303), 1999 (P.L. 106-53), and 2000 (P.L. 106-541). Recent WRDAs have each authorized projects with potential federal appropriations reaching between $3 and $4.3 billion and authorizing or modifying the authorization of more than a hundred projects. No WRDA has been enacted since 2007 although bills have been introduced.

Funding Overview

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Aquatic plant management in non-federal waters must be cost shared 50%-50% by the requesting state and is funded through the Construction General (CG) Program. The state may delegate its financial responsibilities to local governmental interests. The annual budget is requested through a separate submission from the District aquatic plant manager (through the Program Management chain) to Division to HQUSACE. The Natural Resources Management Branch at HQUSACE prepares the nationwide Aquatic Plant Control Program budget, which includes the Aquatic Plant Control Research Program. The nationwide program has a funding ceiling of $12 million, but the amount allocated to the program may be lower.

When the Program allocation has been made, HQUSACE then distributes funds between the individual District cost-shared programs and the Research Program. The allocation for the Research Program goes directly to the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, Mississippi. The cost-shared portion goes to the appropriate Divisions (through the Program Management chain). The Divisions pass these allocations to the Districts for program implementation. The Districts can then negotiate final work plans with the local sponsors for that fiscal year.

Funding for aquatic plant management in Corps' projects is 100% federal and comes from the O&M budget. Funding for needed work would be requested as a line item in the fiscal year budget request to HQUSACE. This request is submitted 2 years in advance of the fiscal year in which the work will be done.

The aquatic plant management line items must compete with all other District O&M work. The O&M budget items are prioritized by the District and submitted to Division. The Division reviews all items, consolidates its Districts' specific line item requests, and submits the Division budget to HQUSACE. HQUSACE reviews the submittals, and the Division and HQUSACE staff defend the budget proposals at Congressional hearings.

After Congressional input and negotiations with the Office of Management and Budget, final budgets are approved for each Division. At this time the Districts will know which budget items have been approved. The funding allocations go for contract work at the District level or to the project. The project can contract for work or utilize their hired labor.

Historical Timeline

Timeline of the Major Events in the Aquatic Plant Control Program

Note: This site is under construction and will be added to periodically as time allows.

1884 Water hyacinth introduced to the U.S. after being shown at the Worlds Fair in Louisiana.  
1896 Water hyacinths had spread throughout the St. Johns River Basin.  
1899 The Rivers & Harbors Act of 1899 authorized the Removal of Aquatic Growths (RAG) Project in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. It authorized the construction and operation of vessels and log booms for the removal and containment of water hyacinths in the waters of Florida and Louisiana. Congress authorized the expenditure of $25,000 for the construction of two boats to control water hyacinths, $1,000 for log booms to use with the boats, and $10,000 for operating costs in Florida and Louisiana.
1900 Water hyacinth begins to be a problem on the Withlacoochee River.  
1901 A crusher boat authorized by the Rivers & Harbors Act of 1899 was built by the State of Louisiana, but was deemed impractical for large scale operations.  
1902 The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1902 was adopted by Congress to authorize the extermination and removal of water hyacinths by any mechanical, chemical or other means. A total of $50,000 was allocated for Florida, Texas and Louisiana. Spray operations started in November 1902 with a steamer named the LeReve. The spray compound consisted of arsenic mixed with saltpeter. This mixture made the plants attractive to cattle and generated complaints about dead cows. The saltpeter was replaced with bicarbonate without loss of efficacy. The main channel of the St. Johns River and its tributaries were cleared of water hyacinth. Spray operations continued until January 1904.
1903  
1904  
1905 The Rivers & Harbors Act of 1905 was adopted by Congress to prohibit the use of any chemical in Florida that was injurious to cattle or man. Log booms were placed on tributaries to inhibit water hyacinth spread. A steamer was outfitted with a derrick for plant removal.
1909 Started the use of hyacinth elevators and continued in use till 1918 as primary method of hyacinth control in the St. Johns River.  
1912 The Rivers & Harbors Act of 1912 authorized the removal of water hyacinth in Florida, Texas and Louisiana, with any unexpended resources from Texas and Louisiana being transferred to Mississippi for hyacinth removal.  
1913 Contract made to clear the Withlacoochee River of water hyacinths from Lake Istachatta to Lake Panasoffkee. A separate contract was made to control hyacinths between Lake Panasoffkee and the Florida Power Co. dam.  
1915 Hired labor cleared water hyacinth from portions of the Kissimmee River and Arbuckle Creek.  
1916 The Rivers & Harbors Act of 1916 authorized the removal of water hyacinth from the navigable waters of Florida and allocated $10,000. Grapple in conjunction with the steamer was tested on Haw Creek, a tributary of Lake Crescent, for water hyacinth removal.
1919 St. Johns River and its major tributaries were free of water hyacinth obstructions but the Withlacoochee River still had several hyacinth blockages.  
1922 Water hyacinth began spreading in the canals surrounding Lake Okeechobee. Water hyacinth elevator #2 harvesting water hyacinth out of a canal.
1923  

Water hyacinth grapple used on the St Johns River.

1927   Water hyacinth removal quarter boat.
1937 First records of operations on Lake Okeechobee with 222,600 square yards (approx. 46 acres) of water hyacinth being removed.  
1938   Hyacinth conveyor #1 clearing water hyacinths in Hillsboro Canal.
1939 Control of hyacinth by the construction of hyacinth traps at strategic points to prevent hyacinths from entering navigation channel. Approximately 66,469 linear feet of hyacinth fence were placed on the Upper St. Johns River. Hyacinth Destroyer clearing hyacinths.
1941 Up to 7 hyacinth destroyer boats destroyed 6,352 acres of hyacinth on the St. Johns River, 873.2 acres on Caloosahatchee River, and 839 acres on the Withlacoochee River. An additional 3,090 linear feet of hyacinth traps were installed. Wood hull survey boat, Caloosa.
1947 2,4-D successfully controlled water hyacinths. Lake Okeechobee had an estimated 250 acres of water hyacinth.
1948 Surveys reported water hyacinth present in most major waterways in Florida, including the St. Johns, Withlacoochee, Ocklawaha, Kissimmee, and Caloosahatchee Rivers. Crews begin using 2,4-D in March. Alligatorweed infestations were present in the St. Johns River.
1949 Crews spray 53 acres of hyacinth and 6 acres of alligatorweed on the St. Johns. On the Withlacoochee, 557 acres of hyacinth were destroyed, 670 acres were drifted to salt water and 299 acres were sprayed.  
1950 First spray operations by plane. On the St. Johns River, 5,306 acres were sprayed by boat and 1,570 acres by plane. Chemical operations were becoming the primary method of control. Mechanical methods of controlling water hyacinths prove unsuccessful.
1952 Florida Game & Freshwater Fish Commission (FG&FWFC) used Dingell-Johnson Federal Aid to Fisheries funds for limited water hyacinth management with 2,4-D. Major hyacinth bloom on the St. Johns River was removed. The St. Johns River, Okeechobee Waterway, Hillsboro River and Withlacoochee River were open to navigation and in good condition.
1953   Florida Game & Freshwater Fish Commission expanded water hyacinth control operations with state funds.
1954  
1955  
1956  
1957  
1958 The Rivers & Harbors Act of 1958, Section 104 of Public Law 85-500 authorized five year federal project funds for the control and progressive eradication of water hyacinth, alligatorweed, and other noxious aquatic plants from navigable waters, tributary streams and associated waters in the interest of navigation, flood control, drainage, agriculture, fish and wildlife conservation, public health and related purposes.
1959 The US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service began a cooperative study of insects to control exotic aquatic plants. Hydrilla discovered in a drainage canal in Miami, Florida. Most likely released from an aquarium.
1960 Florida Game & Freshwater Fish Commission entered into cost sharing contract with COE under Public Law 85-500. The estimated acreage of hyacinth on Lake Okeechobee and tributaries was 3,000 acres. A survey of the St. Johns River estimated 9,500 acres of hyacinth and the Ocklawaha River had approximately 3,700 acres of hyacinth infestation.
Airboat AB-1 purchased 1960.
1961 US Navy helicopter used for aerial surveys. Interest in research regarding the use of plant pathogens as biocontrol agents for aquatic plants was stimulated by the unexplained die-backs of certain aquatic plants.
1962 The Rivers & Harbors Act of 1962, Section 104 of Public Law 87-874 amended Section 104 of the Rivers & Harbors Act of 1958. This provided that the Federal Government bear the costs for research and planning prior to construction and that these costs would not be included in cost shared projects.
1963 There were 38,500 acres of hyacinth present on Kissimmee River.
Fish and Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission (FG&FWFC) aerial spraying.
1964 Spraying under the APC Cooperative Agreement started on the Kissimmee River. The Argentine alligatorweed flea beetle, Agasicles hygrophila, was first released in California on the Rio Hondo River to control alligatorweed infestations.
1965 Public Law 89-298 authorized nationwide continuing project with funding not to exceed $5 million annually and authorized a continuing research program for the development of the most effective and economic control measures. The Aquatic Plant Control (APC) Program was created with an annual funding ceiling of $5 million.
1967   The Argentine alligatorweed flea thrips, Amynothrips andersoni, was first released in California on the Rio Hondo River to control alligatorweed.
1969 Aquatic Plant Trust Fund established by Chapter 371.171 FS (now 327.28 FS).  
1970 Florida Department of Natural Resources (FL DNR) designated as lead agency in aquatic plant control under Florida Weed Control Act of 1970. A program, partly funded by the USACE, was initiated at the University of Florida to evaluate and explore the use of plant pathogens as biocontrol agents for aquatic plants.
1971   The South American Alligatorweed stem borer, Vogtia malloi, was released at Lake Lawne in Florida.
1972 USDA published a review, funded by the USACE, on biological control of alligatorweed. Neochetina eichhornia, the mottled water hyacinth weevil introduced from South America, was released in Florida.
Girl stranded in hyacinth patch.
1973 The Office, Chief of Engineers designated the Waterways Experiment Station (WES), Vicksburg, MS, as the Corps' lead laboratory for aquatic plant research, thus establishing the Aquatic Plant Control Research Program (APCRP). Subsequent events were under direction of APCRP. Osteen Bridge was damaged by large mats of hyacinth.
1974 DNR's authority expanded under Chapter 372.932 FS and maintenance control defined. The South American chevroned water hyacinth weevil, Neochetina bruchi, was released in Florida.
1975 WES conducted studies in Louisiana involving a fungus, Cercospora rodmanii, isolated from water hyacinth on Rodman Reservoir in Florida, for control of hyacinth.  
1976 Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society (FAPMS) established. Aqua Marine harvester collecting hyacinths in a residential canal.
1977 A monosex population of White Amur, grass carp, was released by WES at Lake Conway, Florida, for studies on the control of submersed aquatic plants. The fish is native to Florida. The Argentine water hyacinth moth, Niphograpta albiguttalis, was released in Florida.
1978 An experimental formulation of Cercospora rodmanii was developed by a commercial firm for the control of hyacinth.  
1979 A field demonstration combining plant pathogens and insects for control of hyacinth was initiated in Louisiana. American Assembly Conference on the Management and Control of Aquatic Weeds held in Florida; Center for Aquatic Plants established.
1980 Chapter 372.932 FS amended so that all aquatic control activities were turned over to local government and the five water management districts and FL DNR given permitting authority for all these activities, except the use of herbivorous fish; Aquatic Weed Control Council established. The University of Florida and the University of Massachusetts were conducting Corps' sponsored research into the use of fungal plant pathogens and microbes for control of hyacinth and Eurasian water-milfoil.
1981 A full-scale search for insects on hydrilla in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia was initiated by the USDA under a cooperative agreement with WES. An Instruction Report "The Use of Insects to Manage Alligatorweed" was produced by WES.
1982 The WES conducted a survey of alligatorweed in ten southern states. Hydrilla weevil, Bagous affinis, was introduced into US quarantine facilities as a possible biocontrol of hydrilla.
1983 A workshop, attended by leading scientists in the field of genetic engineering, was held at WES to study the feasibility of applying genetic engineering technology to aquatic plant management.  
1984 Two insects, Bagous sp. for waterlettuce control, and Hydrellia sp. for hydrilla, were brought into US quarantine facilities.  
1985 A survey of the continental US was conducted for pathogens of Eurasian watermilfoil. Hydrellia pakistanae, a fly, was introduced into US quarantine facilities as a possible biocontrol for hydrilla.
1986 An experimental formulation of a fungus and bacterium was evaluated in a small-scale field test for control of Eurasian water-milfoil by the University of Massachusetts under contract to the Corps. Corps' sponsored research by USDA personnel in Australia investigated three species (a weevil, fly, and moth) which impact hydrilla.
Spodoptera pectinicornis was introduced into US quarantine facilities as a possible biocontrol agent for waterlettuce.
1987 A second genetic engineering technology workshop was held at WES to discuss progress in WES-sponsored studies and to discuss advances in related technology since the 1983 workshop. Bagous n. sp. was introduced from Australia into US quarantine facilities as a possible biocontrol for hydrilla.
Neohydronomous affinis, the South American waterlettuce weevil, Bagous affinis, a weevil which feeds on hydrilla tubers during low water events, and Hydrellia pakistanae, a fly which feeds on hydrilla stems and leaves, were introduced in Florida.
1988 Hydrellia n. sp. was introduced from Australia into US quarantine facilities as a possible biocontrol for hydrilla. Experimental formulations of Mycoleptodiscus terrestris was developed for testing on Eurasian water-milfoil.
1989 Hydrellia balciunasi was released as a biocontrol agent for hydrilla. Spodoptera pectinicornis was released in Florida as a biocontrol agent for waterlettuce.
1990 A population of Hydrellia pakistanae from temperate regions was released in northern Alabama and Texas.  
1991 Hydrilla weevil, Bagous hydrillae, was released in Florida as a biocontrol agent of hydrilla.  
1992 Bagous sp. from China was introduced into US quarantine facilities as a potential biocontrol agent for Eurasian water-milfoil.  
1993 Phytobius sp. from China was introduced into US quarantine facilities as a potential biocontrol agent for Eurasian water-milfoil. Oxyops vitiosa was introduced into US quarantine facilities as a potential biocontrol agent for Melaleuca.
First cooperative pathogen study was initiated with the International Institute on Biological Control, Silkwood Park, England.
1994 Lophyrotoma zonalis was introduced into US quarantine facilities as a potential biocontrol agent for Melaleuca. Conducted first pathogen survey for biocontrol agents of submersed aquatic plants in Asia.
1995 Boreioglycaspis melaleucae approved for introduction into US quarantine facilities as a potential biocontrol agent of Melaleuca.  
1996 Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established the Aquatic Plant Control Operations Support Center (APCOSC) within the Jacksonville District to serve as the Corps-wide center of expertise in the operational aspects of aquatic plant management [ER 1130-2-500 (dated 27 Dec 1996)].  
1997 Release of the melaleuca snout beetle, Oxyops vitiosa, in Everglades National Park for the control of melaleuca.  
1999 By Executive Order signed February 3, 1999, a federal Invasive Species Counsel was established to develop recommendations and guidance concerning invasive species and to facilitate the sharing of information and research.