The Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species Surveillance Framework (the Framework) has been developed to address the regional goal of establishing a comprehensive program for detecting and tracking newly identified aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the United States’ waters of the Great Lakes. The need to develop a comprehensive framework to guide and coordinate surveillance actions for any and all AIS threats within the Great Lakes has long been recognized and is an identified priority of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement - Annex on Aquatic Invasive Species.

The Framework provides strategic guidance for decision makers on when, where and how surveillance could be undertaken (Part 1).  The framework establishes a process that can be used to set priorities that is objective, data driven and based on testable transparent criteria and assumptions. Consistent with the goal to develop and implement an early detection initiative, as outlined in the 2012 amendment to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States - Annex on Aquatic Invasive Species (GLWQA 2012 Annex 6), the Framework:

(a) Develops a species watch list.

(b) Identifies priority locations for surveillance.

(c) Provides guidance on monitoring protocols for surveillance.

In Part 2, the Framework provides guidance on how state (and federal partners) could work together to coordinate decision making, to implement and maintain an ongoing surveillance program

The development of the Framework was funded through a GLRI grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) (funding opportunity F14AS00095, April 21, 2014). The Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin formed an Early Detection Rapid Response Team in 2014 to collaborate on the development of tools and guiding documents to support state aquatic invasive species (AIS) plans, and potential monitoring and response approaches.