Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid
Progress Report - October 2007
Preventing the introduction of
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) is the first line of defense against
invasions. However, even the best prevention efforts may not stop all AIS
introductions. The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (GLRC) Strategy
recognizes that early detection and rapid response efforts increase the
likelihood that invasions will be addressed successfully while populations
are still localized and can be contained and eradicated. On March 2, 2007,
the GLRC Executive Committee endorsed the formation of an Aquatic Invasive
Species Rapid Response Initiative which would improve coordination in the
event that a new species is detected in the Great Lakes.
Develop a Great Lakes
Communication Protocol for rapidly identifying new invaders and
formulating response efforts.
Identify Agency Points of
Contact and technical experts that could be called upon to inform early
identification and rapid response efforts.
Federal, state, tribal, cities, and Congressional representatives will
develop a Communication Protocol which will help organize multi-agency rapid
response activities. There are a variety of species-specific and
location-specific rapid response contingency plans under development or that
have been completed by natural resource, environmental protection, and land
management agencies. These specific contingency plans provide the greatest
level of preparation for a potential response effort and supersede the
purview of this Communication Protocol. However, such specific planning is
resource intensive and current resources do not allow for the development of
rapid response plans for all possible events. The Communication Protocol
will be developed to address this gap and help ensure that agencies can
efficiently coordinate and pool resources when an unexpected invader is
key component of this protocol is the identification of a formal point of
contact during rapid response activities. Because no two agencies have the
same organizational structure, an "Invasive Species Response Coordinator"
will be identified to serve as the formal point of contact for day-to-day
information exchange and to be the principal interagency communicator in the
event of a rapid response event. The Great Lakes Aquatic Nuisance Species
Panel met in December, 2006 specifically to discuss rapid response. In
addition, they recommended that Great Lakes agencies populate the national
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Expert Database, which was designed to
direct users to invasive species experts.
Protocol over spring and summer of 2007.
Commitment to provide agency contacts and taxonomic
experts and population of database (July-September 2007)
success at GLRC October 2007 meeting.
Progress to Date
A Communication Protocol was developed at the
direction of the GLRC Executive Committee and, on August 9, 2007, the GLRC Executive
Committee requested agencies participating in the GLRC to provide points
of contact by September 15, 2007.
The above request above was also used to identify
state public points of contact and taxonomic experts for inclusion in
the ANSTF Expert Database.
identified points of contact are currently being compiled.
3. Conduct a Mock Exercise to test the
There is no better way to test
the responsiveness and effectiveness of the GLRC Communication Protocol than
by conducting a mock AIS rapid response exercise. This mock exercise will
include a press event/outreach piece to raise awareness. The protocol will
be in place before attempting this exercise.
will test the Communication Protocol in a mock exercise by late 2007.
Progress to Date