Stop the Introduction and Spread of Non-native Aquatic Invasive Species

Objective:

Further decrease the rate of new invaders establishing in the Great Lakes, slow the spread of existing invasive species, and minimize impacts of existing nuisance species by investing in high impact opportunities to advance control actions.

Background:

Invasive species are organisms from another ecosystem that cause (or are deemed likely to cause) harm to the region’s people, environment, or economy. Some 190 non-native species have taken up residence in the basin. Not all “non-native” species are harmful, but in 2005, invasive species damages to the region were estimated to exceed $5 billion each year. These species have arrived via canals, ships, aquaculture, recreational activities, and through the use and commercial trade in live organisms. Control programs to limit new introductions have targeted the most important vectors. While most regulatory and other government programs are still nascent and others still being developed, there has been substantial progress in addressing principal vectors. The rates of discovery of new non-native species have slowed significantly in the basin, however they are still being identified. Efforts to eradicate invasive species that have become established have made some notable progress; no program has successfully eliminated an invader.

There is much activity on this topic, and our work will mainly be opportunity-driven. As statutes and rules are drafted and redrafted, we will look for the chance to launch new actions while staying out of the regulatory and spending debates.

Projects of interest in this area include:

  • Assessing the threat posed by the next generation of invaders (modified organisms), and the potential to use such tools to stop or reverse invasions.
  • Advancing control strategies, and building tools for Great Lakes states and private parties to use in their control efforts.
  • Working with stakeholders across the Great Lakes to develop innovations in monitoring, predictive analytics, new partnerships, and other tools.

In addition, we are always looking for project teams that are willing to try something transformational, engage people who have never likely teamed up before, and build solutions that make better sense to everyone.

If you want to explore an idea or discuss a potential project, please don’t wait for an RFP to contact us. Email us at startaconversation@glpf.org. We encourage you to start with a conversation, even before you think about submitting anything to us.