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.
In the Great Lakes region, recreational boating presents a particularly significant management challenge for efforts aimed at limiting the spread and impacts of aquatic invasive species (AIS). The adoption of legislative policy with a regulatory component (including mandatory boat inspections) has been especially strong in western US. Here, we present a review of the current WID laws and regulations for all eight Great Lakes states to see how each state’s program compares to the recommended authorities set forth in the Model. Our review uses the framework developed by Sea Grant Law Center.
States, especially in the western United States, have taken significant action to reduce the aquatic invasive species risk associated with the recreational boating pathway. In addition to enacting laws and regulations that prohibit the possession, transport, and release of aquatic invasive species, over a dozen states have developed extensive watercraft inspection and decontamination (WID) programs.
Risk assessments identify, evaluate, and estimate the level of risk of a potential invasive species or pathway. They are an important tool in invasive species management, and are used to inform, prevent, prioritize, and respond.
The goal of these two databases is to provide a record of completed risk assessments relevant to North America. These assessments have been completed by a range of government and non-government organizations.
The Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species convened a Risk Assessment Ad Hoc Committee in 2016, with a charge to improve regional species and pathway risk assessment coordination, and to develop a scope of work for the development of a risk assessment clearinghouse. This clearinghouse includes summaries of risk assessments conducted throughout the Great Lakes region to improve access to risk assessment information and provide at-a-glance information about different risk assessment methodologies.
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.
This report provides an assessment of progress toward harmonization of prohibited AIS in Great Lakes states and provinces over the last decade, including a comparison of current regulated species lists across the Great Lakes basin to regulations that existed in 2012, the first time that a comprehensive list of all regulated aquatic invasive species was compiled for the basin.
This update to the 2003 Wisconsin AIS Management Plan is intended to guide the implementation of prevention, containment and control activities directed at the seven pathways identified as most responsible for the introduction and movement of AIS around the state.
The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that presents a range of options and technologies to prevent aquatic nuisance species movement between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through aquatic connections.
This guide contains recommendations and guidelines for the inspection and cleaning of watercraft, trailers and equipment used in aquatic environments, to prevent the introduction and propagation of aquatic invasive species. The activities covered include sport fishing, nautical activities and pleasure boating, and inventories or sampling carried out in aquatic environments.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission seeks to educate the public on how to stop the spread of AIS and enforce regulations on aquatic species banned in Pennsylvania.
An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan's economy, environment, or human health.
No waterway, from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, is immune to the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, along with many state and federal partners, are continually monitoring these risks.
Exotic animal and plant pests are invading Indiana and multiplying, causing economic and visual damage. The Indiana Invasive Species Program encourages everyone to fight back by learning the signs of invasive species, reporting sightings, and taking precautions.
The Illinois Invasive Species Program is designed to help all Illinois residents and visitors gain a better understanding of the impact of invasive species on Illinois’ waterways, wildlands, and agricultural lands.
Invasive plants, animals and pests are taking a toll on Wisconsin's lakes, rivers and landscapes. The Department of Natural Resources is working with citizens and partners to slow the spread of invasive species. Through educational outreach, strategic planning and active management we are protecting our environment and economy from invasives.
The purpose of this state program is to curb the spread and minimize harmful effects of nonnative species that can:
- cause displacement of, or otherwise threaten, native species in their natural communities; or
- threaten natural resources or their use in the state.
With the growing concern over the spread of aquatic invasive species to Wisconsin’s inland lakes, many lake association members and other concerned citizens are looking for ways to get involved. The Clean Boats, Clean Waters watercraft inspection program is an opportunity to take a front line defense against the spread of aquatic invasive species.