State of New Jersey
Executive Order #97

Governor James E. McGreevey

WHEREAS, harmful non-indigenous species of plants, animals, and other organisms, commonly referred to as invasive species, pose a threat to New Jersey's native vegetation and natural resources by invading healthy ecosystems where they displace, impair or destroy indigenous species and impair ecosystem function; and

WHEREAS, invasive species threaten New Jersey's agricultural resources through loss of production and loss of product marketability; and

WHEREAS, invasive species pose a threat to natural biodiversity, the integrity and function of natural ecosystems, and economic vitality in New Jersey and throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS, this national threat affects approximately 1,880 federally listed species; and

WHEREAS, it has been estimated that damages from non-indigenous species in the United States result in economic losses of $123 billion annually; and

WHEREAS, invasive species have been documented on lands managed by the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Parks and Forestry and Division of Fish and Wildlife, including portions of the State's Natural Areas System, on agricultural lands and on other private lands; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has created a national Invasive Species Council and an Invasive Species Advisory Committee and has mandated the preparation of a National Invasive Species Management Plan to address the invasive species threat; and

WHEREAS, the Departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture have taken steps to address the threat posed by invasive species, including the formation of study groups, the monitoring of invasive species, the development of agricultural invasive species management plans, along with eradication and biological control programs targeting selected invasive species and plant pests of foreign origin; and

WHEREAS, despite these efforts, invasive species continue to be introduced into New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, the most efficient means of controlling invasive species is to prevent their entry into the State and to address an invasive species before the species becomes established; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary and appropriate for New Jersey to develop uniform policies and a coordinated response to the threat posed by invasive species to the State's native and agricultural vegetation, and to establish a source of advice to the Governor on this issue;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. There is hereby established a New Jersey Invasive Species Council (Council).

  2. The Council shall consist of:

    • The Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection or his designee;
    • The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture or his designee;
    • The Commissioner of the Department of Transportation or his designee;
    • The Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Commerce and Economic Growth Commission or his designee;

    Additional members of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor as follows:

    • Three representatives from conservation organizations;
    • One representative from the agricultural sector;
    • Two representatives of the nursery and landscape sector;
    • One representative of the New Jersey Agricultural Invasive Species Council;
    • One representative from academia;
    • One or more representatives from the general public.

  3. The Co-Chairpersons of the Council shall be the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, or their designees.

  4. The Council shall request the participation of the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of the Interior.

  5. The Council shall develop a comprehensive New Jersey Invasive Species Management Plan to be submitted to the Governor no later than June 2005. The management plan shall include but not be limited to: a statement of policy and mission; definitions; findings concerning the current status of non-indigenous plant species in New Jersey and their impact on habitat, biota and natural ecosystems; identification of prevention methods and procedures for early detection and rapid response, and control measures; identification of restoration and research needs and pilot projects; establishment of information management, education and interpretation measures; and coordination among state agencies and adjacent states.

  6. The Council shall undertake the following tasks and any other reasonable measures necessary to prevent the introduction of invasive species and to eliminate or minimize invasive species already established in the State. These tasks, as appropriate, may become components of the New Jersey Invasive Species Management Plan:

    1. Recommend measures necessary for the Departments and non-governmental organizations to cooperate with federal agencies and other states in complying with Executive Order 13112 and the National Invasive Species Management Plan;
    2. Identify research needs to better assess the sources, degree, distribution and threat posed by invasive species, and methods for preventing the introduction and control of invasive species;
    3. Review ongoing invasive species control efforts being carried out by the Departments, and recommend new or revised measures to limit the introduction and effectuate the control of invasive species;
    4. Produce educational materials for public distribution regarding the threats posed by invasive species, outlining measures to prevent the introduction of invasive species and to control invasive species, and encourage the use of local native genotypes propagated in New Jersey in landscaping and planting (including drought tolerant native plants);
    5. Develop partnerships with federal, State and local government agencies and private organizations, including the horticultural industry, necessary to implement the policies and recommendations of the Council;
    6. Identify funding sources for research, monitoring, control and outreach programs;
    7. Plan, design and implement two invasive species eradication and native plant restoration pilot projects by June 2005.
    8. Identify legislative or regulatory actions necessary to implement or further the policies and recommendations of the Council.

  7. This order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 27th day of
February in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand
and Four, and of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Eight

/s/ James E. McGreevey




/s/ Michael R. DeCotiis

Chief Counsel to the Governor