The Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force was established by the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act (reauthorized in 1996 with the passage of the National Invasive Species Act) to serve as a multi-agency body dedicated to preventing and controlling ANS (also known as aquatic invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
, or AIS). On November 6-7, 2019, the ANS Task Force held a public meeting, in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland. The following is an executive summary of the meeting.

Meeting Agenda

Business Items:

  • Adoption of Agenda, Approval of Minutes, Status of Action Items
  • Regional Panel Recommendations
  • Member and Regional Panel Update
  • USDA Motion to the ANS Task Force regarding its operational procedures
  • Public Comment

Topics for Discussion:

  • ANS Task Force Bylaws
  • Annual Work Plans for the ANS Task Force Strategic Plan for 2020-2025

Informative Presentations:

  • USGS NAS Database: New Invasions and Actionable Tools
  • Government eDNA Working Group Overview
  • Genetic Biocontrol Workshop Overview


  • Implementation of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act
  • Updated Priorities for the Implementation of the Quagga Zebra Action Plan for Western Waters
  • National Invasive Species Council Management Plan
  • The Department of the Interior Invasive Species Activities
  • Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds Activities

Action Items

The ANS Task Force assigned the following action items:

  • Develop a concise synopsis of key federal-level invasive species interagency organizations with reference to relevant documents.
  • The next ANS Task Force meeting will include a session on “Intergovernmental Response Framework for Vessel Discharge Risks” and how the ANS Task Force can engage.
  • Once complete, the U.S. Coast Guard will share a draft of the Report to Congress described under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act to the ANS Task Force for review and comment.
  • Subcommittees established under the ANS Task Force Strategic Plan will refine their work plans and resubmit them to the ANS Task Force by December 16, 2019. Comments from the members and regional panels will be due by January 13, 2020.
  • The American Boat and Yacht Council will be invited to provide an update on the status of the Technical Information Report marketing at the next ANS Task Force meeting.
  • Co-Chairs will establish an ad-hoc subcommittee to review the Draft ANS Task Force Bylaws, establishing roles, responsibilities, and operating procedures. Members interested in serving on the subcommittee should let the co-chairs know by December 1, 2019.
  • Members and regional panels are invited to provide suggestions to the co-chairs on format, content, and layout of the next Report to Congress.
  • The next ANS Task Force will be held the week of May 4, 2020 and hosted by the Northeast Regional Panel (Location TBA).

Members Present

The full list of attendees, including the names of individuals present, is available in the full meeting minutes.


  • Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration*
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Park Service

*   On the phone


  • Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
  • Chesapeake Bay Program
  • Great Lakes Commission
  • Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission
  • Lake Champlain Basin Program
  • Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
  • San Francisco Estuary Partnership*
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center *

Regional Panels:

  • Great Lakes Regional Panel
  • Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Panel
  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Panel
  • Mississippi River Basin Regional Panel
  • Northeast Regional Panel
  • Western Regional Panel

Regional Panel Recommendations

Western Regional Panel
  1. In order to facilitate the stated goals of the ANSTF Strategic Plan, WRP recommends continued and additional funding for Regional Panels, QZAP and State/Inter-state Plans. 

    Response: Regional Panels provide essential coordination and work production for the Task Force at the Regional and local levels.  We will continue to support the operation of the regional panels as budgets allow. The Service continues to support the implementation of QZAP through the funding of the State/Interstate ANS Management Plans and through grant support for projects to control the spread of invasive mussels.  

  2. The WRP recommends the following regarding the adoption and implementation of regulations pursuant to the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act:

    The U.S. EPA takes all available data and information into account to determine the best available technologies and management practices when adopting vessel incidental discharge regulations and does not default to existing standards simply because they are more expedient to implement.

    The U.S. EPA and USCG engage in meaningful and substantive consultation with states that provides an opportunity for governors to be directly involved in the crafting and implementation of vessel discharge standards

    Response: U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency will continue to provide regular updates to the ANS Task Force on the implementation of VIDA as well as engage in workgroups form by the ANS Task Force that focus on this issue. The U.S. Coast Guard will share a draft of the Report to Congress described under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act with the ANS Task Force for review and comment.

  3. WRP recommends that ANSTF facilitate an update from the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) as to the status of the Technical Information Report (T-32) that was developed in collaboration between members of the boating industry and aquatic invasive species resource managers, aided by Service funds.

    Response: ABYC has accepted an invitation to provide an updated on the report at the next ANS Task Force meeting.

For More Information

Contact: Susan Pasko - Executive Secretary, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force