Abstract: Risk-based prioritization for early detection monitoring is of utmost importance to prevent and mitigate invasive species impacts and is especially needed for large ecosystems where management resources are not sufficient to survey all locations susceptible to invasion.
This document details the method used to develop the Great Lakes Surveillance Framework Watch List.
Through the Aquatic Invasive Species Annex of the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the United States and Canada have committed to “… contribute to the achievement of the General and Specific Objectives of this Agreement. Through this Annex the Parties shall establish a binational strategy to prevent the introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), to control or reduce the spread of existing AIS, and to eradicate, where feasible, existing AIS within the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem.”
The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force works to stop the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) into the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin. Since its inception, the Task Force has coordinated state and provincial efforts to combat AIS through strategic regional action.
The Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species coordinates education, research, management and policy efforts to prevent new AIS from entering the basin and to control and mitigate those AIS populations already established. The Great Lakes Panel is one of six regional panels that report to the federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, which coordinates AIS efforts on a federal level.
Coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes protect North America's longest freshwater shoreline. They are able to reduce the impact of storm surges, absorb excess water, and reduce the risk of flooding to nearby properties. A diverse and resilient system of Great Lakes coastal wetlands provides invaluable and cost-effective protection for coastal communities.
The Governments of Canada and the United States are pleased to release the 2019 State of the Great Lakes Highlights Report, which provides an overview of the status and trends of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Overall, Great Lakes water quality is assessed as “fair and unchanging.” While progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes has occurred, including the reduction of toxic chemicals, challenges cited in the report include invasive species and excess nutrients that contribute to toxic and nuisance algae.
The Coastal Assembly pursues strategies to improve collaboration, establish basin-wide conservation goals, track progress, and adjust actions on a regular basis.
The five main strategies are described below:
Welcome to the Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands online explorer, provided by Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI). Through a binational collaborative project between Canada and the United States, the team has been working to better measure and map coastal wetland features and hydrologic changes through time at fine resolution. Several remote sensing derived products have been developed for monitoring wetland type, extent and inundation of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
Amphibians (mostly frogs and toads) are intimately connected to water, literally able to breathe underwater through their skin. With this close association with water, they are especially sensitive to changes in wetland habitats. A community of wetland breeding frogs can indicate that a wetland is healthy and functioning well.
To address the risks posed by invasive species, New York has developed an Invasive Species Comprehensive Management Plan (ISCMP), to encompass all current and future invasive species taxa and the suite of ecosystem types (e.g., terrestrial, freshwater, and marine) found across the State. The ISCMP was designed to highlight the great work that has already done by promoting existing programs and methods that have been successful, while identifying structures and processes to help guide invasive species management into the future.
The Rapid Response Framework for Invasive Species is designed to provide resource managers with a defined response system and list of procedures that can be initiated upon discovery of a new invasive species infestation. The goal of this policy is to promote timely decision-making and communication in the event of a new invasive species infestation while limiting authority conflicts and duplication of effort.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal partners are developing Action Plan III, which will outline priorities and goals for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action (GLRI) for fiscal years 2020-2024.
The first Action Plan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative identified goals, objectives, measurable ecological targets, and specific actions for five focus areas for work in the Great Lakes. The Action Plan was used by federal agencies in the development of the federal budget for Great Lakes restoration in fiscal years 2011-2014. As such, it served as guidance for collaborative restoration work with participants to advance restoration. The Action Plan also helped advance the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement with Canada.
Hundreds of projects are funded with the goal of protecting, restoring or enhancing Great Lakes coastal wetlands. These investments are critical to supporting on-the-ground efforts to improve the extent, diversity and resiliency of coastal wetlands. But are these investments in coastal wetlands reaching enough area? Can funding be allocated more efficiently to ensure maximum impact?
The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative is developing an adaptive management strategy called the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF). This framework will change the way Phragmites is managed throughout the Great Lakes basin and lead to approaches that maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of Phragmites management.
In 2009, the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation initiated the formation of the Great Lakes Ballast Water Collaborative, in conjunction with the International Joint Commission, to bring together industry and state and federal regulators on the issue of ballast water and invasive species in the region. One of the primary goals of the Collaborative is to share relevant, useful, and accurate information and foster better communication and collaboration among the key stakeholders engaged in the effort to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species.
The purpose of the Great Lakes Hydrilla Collaborative (Collaborative) is to facilitate cooperation and the transfer of knowledge about this highly invasive aquatic plant amongst stakeholders throughout the Great Lakes. The Collaborative will connect the stakeholder community, share advances in science and management, and serve as the primary online resource center for hydrilla-related information.
GLANSIS is an inter-agency, Great Lakes-specific database for Aquatic Nonindigenous Species (ANS) information.
Developed annually since 2010, the action plan is designed to prevent the spread of invasive Asian carp in the Great Lakes. The action plan incorporates advances in the most current science making it a continually evolving foundation for the work of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee partnership — a collaboration of 27 U.S. and Canadian federal, state, and provincial agencies and organizations.