History of the APCRP
During the late 1880's and early 1890's the non-indigenous aquatic plant, waterhyacinth, rapidly infested the waters of Florida and Louisiana. The expanding populations of waterhyacinth obstructed commercial river traffic, leading Congress to approve the River and Harbor Act of 1899. This act authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CE) to remove waterhyacinth in the navigable waters of Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. Thus, the CE initial responsibilities for aquatic plant management were established in 1899, providing control operations directives known as the Removal of Aquatic Growths (RAG) project.
By the mid-1940's, another non-indigenous aquatic plant, alligatorweed, had infested the waters of the southeastern United States. In view of the magnitude of this new aquatic plant problem Congress approved the River and Harbor Act of 1958 (Section 104, Public Law 85-500). This newly approved act authorized the CE to proceed with a comprehensive project for the control and progressive eradication of alligatorweed, waterhyacinth, and other noxious aquatic plants in the waters of Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. In recognition of the value of scientific research to solving problems, Congress at the same time included provisions for research directed toward the development of the most effective and economic control methods. This project, known as the Expanded Project for Aquatic Plant Control, was initiated in 1959 for a five-year period.
In 1965, a report on the results of the Expanded Project was submitted to Congress recommending that the "project" approach should be expanded to a nationwide "program." As a result, Congress approved Section 104 of the River and Harbor Act of 1958 to be amended by the River and Harbor Act of 1965 (Section 302, Public Law 89-298). This newly approved amendment and future amendments authorized the CE to proceed with a comprehensive program for control of noxious aquatic plants in the waters of the United States, including continued research for development of effective and economic control methods.
The following is a chronology of legislative acts and significant milestones of the CE Aquatic Plant Control (APC) program and the Aquatic Plant Control Research Program (APCRP).River and Harbor Act of 1958, Public Law 85-500 (72 Stat. 297, 300)
River and Harbor Act of 1962, Public Law 87-874 (76 Stat, 1173, 1180)
River and Harbor Act of 1965, Public Law 89-298
Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1983, Public Law 98-63
Water Resources Development Act of 1986, Public. Law 99-662
SEC. 941. AQUATIC PLANT CONTROL
Water Resources Development Act of 1996, Public. Law 104-303
Water Resources Development Act of 1999, Public. Law 106-53