Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) are nonindigenous species that threaten the diversity or abundance of native species, the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural, or recreational activities dependent on such waters. ANS include nonindigenous species that may occur within fresh, estuarine, or marine waters and that presently or potentially threaten ecological processes or natural resources.
The Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force was established by Congress with the passage of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act (NANPCA) in 1990 and reauthorized with the passage of the National Invasive Species Act (NISA) in 1996 (collectively, the Act). Composed of 13 Federal and 15 ex-officio members, it is the only Federally-mandated intergovernmental organization solely dedicated to preventing and controlling ANS.
The Act charges the ANS Task Force with implementing the Act by developing and executing a program that:
- Prevents the introduction and dispersal of ANS;
- Monitors, controls and studies such species;
- Conducts research on methods to monitor, manage, control and eradicate such species;
- Coordinates ANS programs and activities of ANS Task Force members and affected state agencies; and
- Educates and informs the general public and program stakeholders about the prevention, management, and control of these species.
Co-chaired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ANS Task Force works in conjunction with Regional ANS Panels and issue-specific committees to coordinate efforts among Federal and State agencies as well as efforts of the private sector and other North American interests. The ANS Task Force strives to create opportunities and synergies among members and participants to work collaboratively by sharing resources, expertise, and ideas across agency and organizational lines.
Alert - Destroy! Don’t Dump!
Invasive zebra mussels have recently been found in "moss balls,” an aquarium plant product sold at aquarium and pet supply stores. Zebra mussels are regarded as one of the most destructive invasive species in North America. If you recently purchased moss balls for your aquarium, they must be properly destroyed - don't dump them! Follow the DESTROY, DISPOSE, and DRAIN instructions.
The new Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign website is now live!
Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! is a national campaign that helps recreational water users be part of the solution to help prevent and slow the spread of aquatic invasive species. Extensive changes have been made to the campaign, including the creation of new taglines and brand standards, a new website, and new co-branding capabilities. We encourage all partners to visit the website, view the new campaign resources, and subscribe to the campaign email alert service.
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force 2016 - 2017 Report to Congress – Now Available!
The 2016 - 2017 ANS Task Force Report to Congress is designed to familiarize readers with the ANS Task Force and to report progress made toward the goals outlined in the ANS Task Force Strategic Plans. Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force 2016 - 2017 Report to Congress
ANS Task Force Meeting - Virtual conference - November 16-18, 2021
Highlighted Regional Products:
Response Protocols for Biofouled Debris and Invasive Species Generated by the 2011 Japan Tsunami
To encourage a coordinated response in regards to the risk of ANS introduction from marine debris generated by the 2011 Japan Tsunami, the protocol includes guidelines for the communication of risk, a framework for incident reporting, science-based protocols for risk assessment, and management options to effectively and consistently respond to potential AIS associated with JTMD on shore and at sea.
Pennslyvania's Field Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species
The purpose of this guide is to help slow or stop the spread of invasive species in Pennsylvania. Therefore, in addition to identification, it includes sections on prevention, reporting, and collecting specimens. Pennsylvania's Field Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel: Online Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species in Northeastern North America
The NEANS Online Guide provides information about invasive species that threaten northeastern North America and allows you and your organization to create customized field guides. Browse the site and learn about a wide variety of marine and freshwater invasive species and how to identify them. Then head to the water with your customized field guide and help stem the tide of invasive species by participating in spread prevention and early detection efforts to detect and prevent new invasions.
Online Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species in Northeastern North America.
Western Regional Panel: Quagga/Zebra Mussel Action Plan
Quagga and zebra mussels are among the most economically and ecologically damaging aquatic invasive species and are a critical issue for western entities. To address the spread of these mussels into the West, the Western Regional Panel of the ANS Task Force developed the Quagga-Zebra Mussel Action Plan for Western U.S. Waters (QZAP). QZAP was approved by the ANS Task Force in 2009 and was adopted as Department of the Interior's roadmap for addressing the western spread of quagga and zebra mussels. The plan was reaffirmed by the ANS Task Force in 2015. This page includes links to QZAP, projects that support QZAP priorities, and other information related to the westward spread of these invasive mussels. Below are links to QZAP, projects that support QZAP priorities, and other information related to the westward spread of these invasive mussels.
Have you seen anything unusual? If so, we want to hear from you! An online sighting report tool, managed by the U.S. Geologic Survey in Gainesville, Florida, is available via the internet 24 hours a day. The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Database and its associated Alert System have been designed to track the spread of invasive species nationwide, allowing users to report sightings, automatically receive email alerts, and perform searches on aquatic invasive species.
- • To Report AIS Sightings - Visit the USGS Online Sighting Report Tool where a web-form allows users to submit biologic, geographic, and simple contact information as well as voucher photos. Upon submission, information is sent via email to USGS NAS staff experts for verification.
- • To Sign Up for the Alert System - Visit the Alert System Registration Page to sign up for “State Watches”, “Taxonomic Group Watches” and/or specific “Species Watches”.