When a new species is detected, response efforts are crucial to preventing the establishment and spread of that species. In many cases, the speed of the response might determine its success. However, implementing a “rapid” response may not always be possible when efforts involve multiple jurisdictions, occur in large, highly connected ecosystems like the Great Lakes, or are otherwise complex, costly, and controversial.

Advanced planning and agreement on key response principles and criteria can facilitate coordination between local, state and federal agencies and organizations. Using an agreed-upon process to determine whether a regional response is appropriate and feasible can inform key decisions, guide managers, and avoid delays due to miscommunication. This increases the likelihood that necessary response actions are initiated in a timely manner.