Aquatic Invasive Species
The Council of Great Lakes Governors launched the Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force in 2001. The goal of this Task Force is to stop the further introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) into the Great Lakes--one of the Governors’ nine priorities for Great Lakes restoration and protection. Since its inception, the Task Force has coordinated State efforts to combat AIS through advocacy, coordination and the identification of best practices.
The Task Force has spearheaded efforts to build regional support for a consistent federal strategy to combat AIS. Toward this end, the Task Force has advocated for the reauthorization of the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act.
The Task Force also continues to lead efforts to combat known AIS including the Asian carp that threaten to enter the Great Lakes Basin. Recently, the Task Force spearheaded efforts to fund the construction of a permanent dispersal barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Task Force members have also been on the front lines in supporting full federal funding for the construction, maintenance and operation of the barrier.
The Task Force has been charged to assist the Great Lakes’ Governors’ Priorities Initiative in the development of the AIS component of the Great Lakes Protection and Restoration Strategy. It is recognized that AIS prevention and control is central to ecosystem health and that a regional strategy is needed.
The Task Force continues to identify options for how the Governors and Premiers can best arrest the introduction and spread of AIS within the region. Toward this end, the Task Force has researched various treatment technologies for addressing transmission through ballast water on ships. The Task Force continues to investigate promising management techniques and technologies to identify best practices that can be quickly deployed.