The Aquatic Invasive Species Interstate Surveillance Framework for the U.S. Waters of the Great Lakes (the Framework) addresses the regional need to establish a comprehensive, basin-wide strategy for detecting new introductions of AIS. The need for a comprehensive early detection strategy is specifically identified in Annex 6 of the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
The Framework is intended to guide and help coordinate monitoring activities for AIS threats within the Great Lakes. It provides strategic guidance for decision makers on when, where and how monitoring efforts could be undertaken (Part 1). The Framework establishes a process that can be used to set monitoring priorities that is objective, data-driven, and based on testable transparent criteria and assumptions. Specifically, the Framework:
- Determines a species watch list
- Identifies priority locations for monitoring
- Provides guidance on monitoring protocols
The Framework also provides guidance on how state (and federal partners) could coordinate decision making for implementing and maintaining a Great Lakes early detection program (Part 2).
The development of the Framework was funded through a GLRI grant (F15AP00041) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin formed an Interstate Prevention, Early Detection and Rapid Response Team in 2014 to collaborate on the development of tools and guiding documents to support state AIS management plans, and potential monitoring and response approaches.