The Western Region has the opportunity to protect its financial and ecological resources from invasive nuisance species. A rapid, coordinated response on the part of affected public and private entities from North Dakota to Guam and Alaska to Texas will ensure that the introduction, spread and impacts of aquatic nuisance species are limited.
To facilitate this coordinated response, a provision calling for the formation of the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (WRP) was included in the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (P.L. 101-636) which amended the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA).
- National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (P.L. 101-636)
- Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA)
Recognizing the importance of a rapid and a coordinated response to the threat of nuisance exotics to western aquatic ecosytems and water delivery systems, representatives from state, provincial, and federal agencies and private water interests met at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon in July 1997 to attend the first organizational meeting of the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.
Statutory Goals The WRP is to be comprised of western region representatives from federal, state, and local agencies and from private environmental and commercial interests.
The purposes of the WRP are to:
- Identify Western Region priorities for responding to aquatic nuisance species;
- Make recommendations to the Task Force regarding an education, monitoring (including inspection), prevention, and control program to prevent the spread of zebra/quagga mussels west of the l00th Meridian;
- Coordinate, where possible, other aquatic nuisance species program activities in the West not conducted pursuant to the Act;
- Develop an emergency response strategy for federal, state, and local entities for stemming new invasions of aquatic nuisance species in the region;
- Provide advice to public and private individuals and entities concerning methods of preventing and controlling aquatic nuisance species infestations; and
- Submit an annual report to the ANS Task Force describing activities within the western region related to aquatic nuisance species prevention, research and control.
The scope of the WRP encompasses an extensive geographic range, all states and provinces west of the l00th Meridian, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as Guam.
The goal of the WRP is to protect limited western aquatic resources by preventing the introduction and spread of non-native nuisance species into western marine and freshwater systems though the coordinated management and research activities of state, tribal, federal, commercial, environmental, research entities and other regional panels.