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Be a VIP Vermont Invasive Patroller!

Early detection is vital to protecting Vermont’s waterbodies from harmful invasive plants and animals.  Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIPs) monitor local waterbodies for new introductions of invasive species while also learning about native aquatic plants and animals.


Click here for the VIP Program Brochure (PDF, 1.46MB)

VIP Responsibilities

  • Participate in a least one VIP workshop every three years
  • Sign a Statement of Commitment promising to document survey results in accordance with standardized procedures and report them to Vermont DEC
  • During the summer conduct and submit at least two surveys for the presence of invasive plants and animals in your lake or pond (or a specific section thereof)
  • Notify DEC staff and submit suspicious samples for positive identification when applicable

VIP Workshops

A basic VIP workshop spans four hours, split between classroom time and “field” time on the water.  In this workshop participants will learn:

  • The fundamentals of lake ecology
  • The difference between native, exotic, nuisance and invasive species
  • How invasive species are introduced and established
  • How to identify common aquatic plants and animals, both native and invasive (the latter will be emphasized)
  • How to conduct surveys of native and invasive species in their natural habitats

2014 Workshop Schedule




Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Swanton

Thursday, June 12th
1:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Registration deadline - Thursday, June 5th

Hebard State Office Building, Newport

Friday, June 20th
10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Registration deadline - Friday, June 13th


Participants are required to bring their own canoe or kayak to participate in the workshop field session. If you are unable to bring your own canoe or kayak, please contact us at least one week prior to the workshop. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee participation in the field session if you do not have your own boat available. If you have any questions, please contact Bethany Sargent.

Host a VIP Workshop

Do you have a group of volunteers interested in becoming VIPs? If so, consider hosting your own VIP workshop!

It’s helpful if you can provide:

  • An indoor venue with electricity
  • A nearby waterbody that can be paddled, preferably with an existing invasive species infestation, such as Eurasian watermilfoil, suitable for plant survey field training
  • Canoes and/or kayaks and personal flotation devices (i.e. life jackets) for as many participants as possible;  Vermont DEC can only provide a limited number of canoes and/or kayaks for workshops



If you’re interested in becoming a VIP or hosting a VIP workshop for a group of volunteers in your area, please contact Bethany Sargent at or (802) 490-6129.


VIP Resources






VIP Logo

group of people in canoes at a VIP training session

person in kayak using a scope to see into the water
person in canoe conducting an aquatic plant survey
person using hand lens to identify an aquatic plant
person identifying aquatic plants

man looking at plant samples at a table

VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2   Montpelier, VT 05620-3522   Tele: 802-828-1535    Fax: 802-828-1544

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