On June 17, 2013, the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) held a teleconference/webinar to take the place of the Spring meeting, which was cancelled due to the FY13 sequester.  Decisions and action items are listed below.


The ANSTF made the following decisions:

  • Fall 2012 ANSTF meeting minutes were approved.
  • The agenda for this meeting was approved.
  • Approved the Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species State ANS Management Plan 2013 update.
  • Approved the Mississippi State ANS Management Plan for Aquatic Invasive Species.

New Action Items

The ANSTF assigned the following action items:

  • Lori Williams will organize a call later this summer to discuss the logistical challenges of NISAW and identify opportunities for moving forward.
  • John Darling will provide additional contact info to NISC for Brian Rapoli in EPA (who is leading the 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
    component of the Clean Boating Act).
  • Executive Secretary will send out a request for interested reviewers for the National Asian Carp Surveillance Plan.
  • Erica Jensen requested time at upcoming November 2013 ANSTF meeting to present information on the results of the funding discussion from the Great Lakes Regional Panel meeting held in Duluth, MN.
  • Executive Secretary will convene a conference call regarding Regional Panel funding.
  • An update will be provided on the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Program at the fall 2013 ANSTF meeting.
  • Executive Secretary will send out a call for training on the D.C. metro area for the Fall of 2013. Anyone interested in HACCP training opportunities, let Susan Pasko know.
  • Provide feedback, suggestions on how this teleconference/webinar went to Executive Secretary.


Because the meeting was a webinar, participants are listed here instead of on the customary sign- up sheet.

Jeff Underwood (FWS)

Peg Brady (NOAA)

Susan Mangin (FWS)

Craig Martin (FWS)

Laura Norcutt (FWS)

Susan Pasko (NOAA)

Carrie Givens (FWS)

Linda Nelson (COE)

Amy Benson (USGS)

Ann Bove (VTDEC)

Bill Bolen (EPA)

Cindy Kolar (USGS)

David Wong (SUNY)

Don MacLean (FWS)

Elizabeth Phelps (DOS)

Erika Jensen (GLC)

Hannah Martin (EPA)

Jim Robihnett (Shed 

Joanne Grady (FWS)

John Wullschleger (NPS)

Justin King (NPPD)

Karen McDowell (SFEP)

Leah Elwell (WRP / ISAN)

Linda Wilson (NYS-OAG)

Luci Cook-Hildreth (TXPWD)

Mark Malchoff (LCSG & LCRI)

Mike Ripley (NAFWS)

Paul Angelone (FWS/DOI)

Ron Benjamin (NASAC)

Nick Schmal (USFS)

David Rutledge (Luninant)

Elizabeth Brown (CO)

Mike Pursley (MS)

John Morris (USCG)

Tom Mendenhall (BLM)

John Dekam (AWWA)

Kim Bogenschutz (IN/AFWA)

James Ballard (GSMFC)

Ron Johnson (NASAC)

Meg Modely (LCBP)

Sarah Whitney (PASG)

Michelle Tremblay (NEANS)

Sarah LeSage (MI)

Tammy Davis (AK)

Susan Jewell (FWS)

Pete Egan (DOD)

David Scharfe (AVMA)

Jessica Howell (KS)

Eric Fischer (IDNR)

Isabelle Desjardins

Louisa Branchflower

Thomas Hall

Stas Burgiel (NISC)

Sam Finney (FWS)

Susan Ellis (CA)

Lori Williams (NISC)

1.  Welcome and Preliminary Business

Jeff Underwood (Acting FWS Co-Chair) and Peg Brady (Acting NOAA Co-chair) welcomed participants to the webinar. Both co-chairs thanked Executive Secretary Susan Mangin, FWS, and FWS staff for organizing the meeting.

The May 2013 Duluth ANSTF meeting was cancelled due to sequestration-related budget issues. This is the first time that the ANSTF has ever cancelled a meeting and the first time it has tried this webinar meeting format. Mangin reviewed meeting logistics. The last meeting was in November 2012

2.  Public Comment

Jeff Underwood stated that no one has expressed interested in making any public comments. There will be another opportunity for Public Comment period at the end of the meeting.

3.  Adoption of Agenda/Approval of Minutes/Review of Previous Action Items

Following introductions, the agenda for the webinar and the meeting minutes from the Fall 2012 ANSTF meeting in Arlington, Virginia, were approved. Mangin then reviewed action items from the fall meeting.

  1. Update on ANSTF opportunities to work with LCCs at next meeting (Stas Burgiel, NISC)
    • Last year, NISC staff met with the potential leadership for the LCCs. NISC staff conducted an initial desktop study finding that 13 of the 22 LCCs identified invasive species within their lists of critical threats or as part of their LCC strategy. Many of the LCCs are already engaging on climate-related work and at least two LCCs are funding projects related to invasive species.
    • Engagement on a national level has been adversely affected by the sequestration, although NISC staff will continue to engage with the LCC’s on a select basis through the ANSTF/NISC ad hoc working group. As resources permit, NISC staff will seek to re- engage more broadly, including with overall LCC leadership.
    • On other climate issues, at their fall 2011 meeting, the ANSTF recommended the formation of a joint ANSTF/NISC ad hoc working group to look at the relationship between climate change climate change
      Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

      Learn more about climate change
      and invasive/aquatic nuisance species to: 1) provide a platform for disseminating existing guidance and resources; and 2) identify knowledge gaps and future research needs. Recent activities include:
      • Co-chair changes: due to personnel shifts, Maria Boroja (formerly USDA-APHIS) and Adrianna Muir (formerly Dept. of State) stepped down as co-chairs. In April 2013, Thomas Hall (USDA-APHIS) agreed to serve as a new co-chair along with Stas Burgiel (NISC).
      • Group composition: the ad hoc working group includes over 30 individuals from federal agencies, state government, academia, tribes and NGOs.
      • Compilation of information: group members were asked to complete a survey describing their expertise and relevant resources, which was compiled as an initial touchstone for discussion.
      • Conference call (May 2013): the group agreed to use the compilation as well as views provided during a subsequent conference call to develop an outline for a paper to be submitted to ANSTF and NISC. Some key issues raised include: invasive species management to enhance resilience (even in the absence of specific knowledge about climate change), tools for niche modeling of species under different climate scenarios, geographic/ecosystem specificities (e.g., marine, freshwater, Arctic, grassland), and native vs. non-native invasive species.
    • Next steps: an outline will be drafted and circulated in early June for comment. This will provide a framework for adding key resources and identifying gaps and areas of contention that will require further attention by the group. Ideally, a rough draft would be available for the fall ANSTF meeting.
    • For more information, contact Stas Burgiel (stas_burgiel@ios.doi.gov) or Tom Hall (thomas.c.hall@aphis.usda.gov).

  2. Prevention Committee provide guidance for pathway management plans and a list of pathways to be considered for plan development (Stas Burgiel, NISC)
    • The fall 2012 ANSTF meeting recommended that the prevention committee provide guidance for pathway management plans and a list of pathways to be considered for plan development. Recent activities include:
      • Prevention planning: a concept paper was drafted that looked more broadly at planning to prevent invasive species introductions from the inter-related perspectives of pathways, sites and species. This approach recognizes that different government agencies (state and federal) and organizations operate according to specific authorities or jurisdictions, which may not just be along a particular pathway. Initial comments have been provided and the document is undergoing revision.
      • Pathway management: given the specific request by ANSTF, initial discussions with group members support development of a related document focused on pathway management. This would be consistent with the general framework laid out in the prevention planning document referenced above, but include more detail specific to development of plans for managing pathways.
    • Pathway diagrams: the group has provided comments on the pathway diagrams developed in 2007. The Committee will need to revise diagrams for pathways of concern with the help of Don MacLean.
    • Pathway prioritization: given limits of representation within the group, discussions are ongoing about what input to provide ANSTF in order to solicit views on priority pathways that could be the subject of future management plans. This may include provision of the pathway diagrams, a short list of possibilities and/or other possible guidance.
    • Next steps:
      • The prevention planning concept paper and the pathway diagrams will be revised over the summer with drafts intended for the fall ANSTF meeting.
      • An initial draft for pathway management plans will be developed for internal consideration by the group (release of a revised draft to ANSTF will pend progress).
      • Information on the process for pathway prioritization will also be provided to ANSTF at the fall meeting.
    • For more information, contact Stas Burgiel (stas_burgiel@ios.doi.gov).

  3. Schedule an e-DNA session for the next ANSTF meeting in consultation with ANSTF members (Susan Mangin, ANSTF)
    • We are planning to hold an eDNA session at November 2013 ANSTF meeting and will need assistance. ANSTF was interested in expanding the eDNA discussion beyond Asian carp.

  4. Provide a link on the ANSTF website to the Invasive Lionfish: A Guide to Control and Management (Susan Mangin, ANSTF)
    • This has been completed.

  5. Provide Laura Norcutt with Snakehead Plan comments by 12/21 (This date was moved back to give time for the WO to incorporate changes for consistency and format.) (Laura Norcutt, FWS)
    • During the last meeting, the snakehead plan was not ready for review (though members did receive a copy). Some editing was still needed, which is still ongoing. The Snakehead Plan Committee is currently addressing comments on consistency with the goals and strategies. We plan to have the draft ready in time for discussion at the November meeting.
  6. Hold a members call to discuss agency processes for populating ANSTF Strategic Plan reporting matrix (Susan Mangin, ANSTF)
    • Susan Pasko led the charge to develop the 2013-2017 Strategic Plan. We need to start reporting accomplishments. We’ll be setting up a conference call to review and discuss this.

  7. Establish an ad-hoc committee to define Federal roles and responsibilities of all Federal ANSTF and NISC member agencies associated with the management of Dreissena mussels (Laura Norcutt, FWS)
    • Laura Norcutt reported that members of the joint ANSTF and NISC Federal Lands Regulations Committee felt they could effectively address two of the Action Items from the AG/LE/AIS Workshop and expanded their charge to both 1.4 and 1.7. In addition to Action Item 1.4, defining agency roles and responsibilities, we felt we could at the same time address Action Item 1.7 which is to broaden the scope of federal regulations to include preventing the movement of AIS onto and off of federal lands and waters. The Committee also agreed to broaden the scope of the Charge from specifically mussels in the West to all AIS nationwide. The committee currently consists of 28 Federal members and an AFWA representative. The Committee plans to complete our work by December 2014.

  8. Have the Outreach Committee incorporate evaluation measures into the outreach efforts of the newly revised Recreational Guidelines to assess their impact on public behavior (Susan Mangin, ANSTF)
    • The Recreational Guidelines were developed by a 55 member committee of state, federal agencies and organizations. The Water Garden Guidelines were developed by a five- member committee. Both guidelines were approved by the ANSTF at the November 2012 meeting. A notice that the Guidelines are available for review will be posted in the Federal Register after the notice clears the DOI document approval process. The Guidelines may be downloaded from the ANSTF website for review and comments are to be provided to Laura Norcutt. The comments will be addressed and the announcement of the availability of final Guidelines will be posted in the Federal Register.

  9. The ANSTF will review the top 40 priorities for the National Asian Carp Plan by end of December (Susan Mangin, ANSTF)
    • Susan announced that all comments should be sent to Sam Finney, USFWS (sam_finney@fws.gov). Some members responded with comments.

  10. Crosswalk 40 priorities from the National Asian Carp Plan with the Asian Carp Framework by the end of the December to seek collaboration opportunities (Don MacLean, FWS)
    • Don MacLean took the top 40 recommendations from the National Asian Carp Plan and crosswalked them to the Asian Carp Framework. Comparing the two plans showed that approximately half of the top 40 recommendations from the National Asian Carp Plan had a corresponding element in the Asian Carp Framework:
      • 19 of the top 40 Recommendations from the National Asian Carp Plan are represented in the Asian Carp Framework.
      • 21 of the top 40 Recommendations from the National Asian Carp Plan are not represented in the Asian Carp Framework.
    • Despite the differences between the two plans, the 19 “shared actions” represent significant opportunities for collaboration. It is also important to note, however, that even though the Asian Carp Framework connects with 19 recommendations in the National Asian Carp Plan, we do not wish to leave the impression that it means that 19 recommendations in the national plan are complete.
    • Of the Top 40 priorities, we are already engaged in 20 (50%).
    • Bill Bolen is reviewing the cross walk and reported that Don did a great job.

  11. Address concerns about the Classroom Guidelines and have them ready for approval at the May 2013 meeting (Susan Mangin, ANSTF)
    • Discuss later – see discussion item #4 below.

  12. Develop ANSTF report to Congress for FY13 (Susan Mangin, FWS)
    • This is on our To Do list. We’ll start asking members for input on this soon.

4.  Informational: Classroom Guidelines (Laura Norcutt, FWS)

  • A 2012 ANSTF Action Item was to address concerns about the Classroom Guidelines and have them ready for approval at the May 2013 meeting. Primary concerns were how thoroughly the guidelines were vetted by teachers and if the sea grant link on regulations was national in scope. A 13 person committee addressed the ANSTF comments.
  • The main issue raised in this latest round of review is pointing the stakeholders toward a website or other specific sources that list state regulations. There continues to be concerns about the scope and resources for updating databases. The Committee will discuss whether to continue referencing them on these guidelines or to remove them.
  • A suggestion was made to include local listings of contacts for each state that would work with schools and Biological Supply Houses. It would be good to have something comprehensive, but would be too "bulky" to include. For a separate project, we might discuss the development a more comprehensive national/provincial list of agencies for general inquires. This list can then be made available on a website linked to one of the Sea Grants or the ANSTF's websites.
  • The GLP has suggested including illustrations in support of recommended actions where possible, similar to what was done for Voluntary Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species Through Recreational Activities. Any specific ideas for illustrations are encouraged.
  • The committee is satisfied with the current versions wording and feels it is ready for the ANSTF review. The Classroom Guidelines should be available at the November 2013 meeting for ANSTF approval and will then be made available for public comment via Federal Register and then finalized for stakeholder use.

5.  Informational: National Invasive Species Awareness Week Update (NISAW) (Lori Williams, NISC)

  • The 2013 NISAW was affected by sequestration and many events had to be postponed or canceled. NISC has led the last few NISAWs; however, they would like to request that someone else lead the event next year due to budget uncertainties. NISC is willing to continue to engage in the substantive programmatic part. This is a good time to think about NISAW and reach out to other organizations for leadership. No date has been set yet for NISAW. We’re still in a holding pattern.
  • States and NGOs have been coming onboard in greater numbers each year. With sequestration and other Federal budgetary challenges, it’s becoming more difficult for Federal agencies to plan and organize meetings.  A State or other partner could take the lead moving forward from here and alleviate some of the issues facing Federal leadership of NISAW. NISC certainly wants to stay engaged but is looking for broader leadership and engagement.
  • ACTION: Lori will organize a call later this summer to discuss the logistical challenges of NISAW and identify opportunities for moving forward.

6.  Decisional: Michigan and Mississippi ANS Management Plans (Don MacLean, FWS)

  • Don MacLean announced that there were two plans seeking ANSTF approval: Michigan is seeking approval of its 3rd plan revision and Mississippi is seeking approval of its plan for the first time.

    Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species State Management Plan 2013 Update

  • Sarah LeSage, from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality -This is the third iteration of the Michigan State Plan (1996, 2002, 2013). This time, the revision was a major overall of the state plan with a focus on invasion stages (they added an early detection component) and a movement towards a pathway approach, which assisted them since they didn’t have consolidated responsibilities in State management. They also adopted a team approach, which required a lot of authors, responsibilities, and roles for implementation. They now have a better team and greater buy-in internally as a result.
  • Because of extent of the changes, Michigan decided they wanted the plan to be treated as a new plan. They also hope to soon have a final draft for the Michigan EDRR plan. Don MacLean reported that the revised MI plan had successfully completed the preliminary review process and had done an excellent job of incorporating the comments of the ANSTF. Don MacLean recommended approval of this plan. Through GLRI and the updated plan, they are getting close to a final draft of an ED/RR plan that is generic enough for any department in Michigan to use.
  • Michigan State Plan Approval: Motion by Mike Ielmini, Seconded by Cindy Kolar, and approved by group vote.

    Mississippi State Management Plan for Aquatic Invasive Species

    [Note: Due to the technical problem with the phone lines for the webinar, Henry Folmar (from Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality) could not get on the webinar. Henry offered up Mike Pursley (from Mississippi Department of Marine Resources), who was already on the call, if the ANSTF had any questions about the MS Plan]
  • Don MacLean noted that MS had been working on their plan since 2009. They underwent the preliminary review process in late 2010, but changes in staff and leadership delayed their seeking final approval until now. The State did a good job in adopting and addressing comments, providing good justifications when a comment was not incorporated. Don recommended approval of Mississippi plan.
  • Mississippi State Plan Approval: Motion by Mike Ielmini, Seconded by Linda Nelson, and approved by group vote.
  • Peg Brady then asked whether there were other states considering updates or revisions and how many other plans are under development? Don MacLean relayed that there are a couple of plans talking about revisions (Lake Tahoe is one), and there are several plans in various stages of development: Colorado has been through the preliminary review process, Nevada is supposedly working on a plan, and North Carolina and West Virginia are in the early discussion stages.
  • Peg Brady acknowledged the states for their plan revisions and continued AIS involvement. It’s a credit to the ANSTF and its partners that that States see value in having a Plan that has been approved by ANSTF. It moves us toward a coordinated approach.
  • Thanks to Don for coordinating and others who have reviewed these plans.

7.   Informational: Ballast Water Regulations Update (John Morris, U.S. Coast Guard, John Darling, EPA)

John Morris update

  • The Coast Guard published the ballast water regulations in 2012 and continues to provide updates on their website including FAQs, guidance and policy notes. They have a public portal – homeport.uscg.mil/environmental – This has all content and documents previously offered on our USCG website. It provides the maritime industry with a one-stop shop for information. It should hopefully serve as a resource for others.
  • As of last week, a second independent lab has been approved for testing ballast water. The Coast Guard is continuing to interact with other interested testing facilities. They have accepted 10 manufacturers’ systems for ballast water treatment. These can be used in lieu of ballast water exchange for a limited time in U.S. waters.
  • If anyone has questions, they can e-mail us – environmental_standards@uscg.mil.

John Darling update

  • Darling gave a presentation entitled Invasive Species Protection in EPA’s 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP).
  • EPA has finalized 2013 VGP. The 2008 guidelines will be replaced by the 2013 guidelines at the end of the year. The 2008 permit will be effective until 12/19/2013.
  • There were two information gathering efforts.
    • The first was through EPA’s Science Advisory Board and found that IMO is achievable and that current technology does not support a more stringent IMO.
    • The second was through the National Academy of Sciences and found that there is a risk of invasive species associated with ballast water discharges. The current ability to quantify that risk suffers from the lack of data. EPA and Coast Guard requested that the National Research Council evaluate several models for addressing risk of invasive species introduction, but NRC wasn’t really able to address this issue. EPA allows several options for treating ballast water.
  • Recognizing that controlling biofouling is important, EPA has made some recommendations for permit requirements. However, it’s an issue that is still early in development. The recommendations that have been made are consistent with IMO guidelines.
  • Lori Williams asked if John could identify who is leading the issue? Brian Rapoli is leading the invasive species component of the Clean Boating Act.
    • ACTION: John will provide additional contact info for Brian Rapoli in EPA.
  • The IMO website and the Coast Guard web site both have additional information.
  • California is also reviewing regulations for commercial traffic.
  • Peg Brady – The IMO developed guideline for recreational vehicles is on the Coast Guard’s home portal.
  • Karen McDowell – California state lands have biofouling regulations on website.

8.  Informational: Asian Carp Surveillance Plan for Areas outside of the Great Lakes (Craig Martin, FWS)

  • Since 2010, the Federal government has invested over $100M to keep Asian carp from moving into the Great Lakes.
  • FY13 Budget
    • The FY13 President’s Budget has $2 million budgeted for Asian carp surveillance and will include commitments to the LaCrosse Fish Health Center, upper Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
  • FY14 President’s budget - details of interest to the ANSTF and its membership:
    • $2,000,000 will be used for early detection and rapid assessment, supporting both eDNA and traditional fish sampling tools.
    • $1,500,000 will be used for containment to help keep Asian carp from spreading from areas where they already exist. The Service will work with the states and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design, construct, and evaluate structure structure
      Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

      Learn more about structure
      (s) placed in the Upper Mississippi River system and other priority areas identified as leading edges of either present or potential Asian carp invasions.
    • Using information supplied by results of early detection and rapid assessment, $500,000 will support state-led rapid response efforts to attempt eradication of Asian carp incipient invasions in locations outside of their established range.
  • $1,000,000 will be allocated toward control. Based on risk assessment of established population impacts, the Service will support state-led efforts to control abundance of Asian carp at locations where impacts are, or are projected to be, highest. Control targets will be at or below levels that allow sustainability of native species and habitats. Together, these efforts will form a shield allowing coordinated action among partners.
    • Up to $500,000 of this funding will be awarded to states under a competitive grant process for control actions identified by ACMCP and under the aegis of the state’s State/Interstate Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan. Portions of other components may be competitively awarded to states as well if warranted.
  • National Asian Carp Surveillance Plan Details
    • The developing team included genetic, biostatistical, and AIS agency experts. We had a number of State partners included on the team and a number of Federal agency folks were recruited.
    • What does it cover?
      • Describes a process to identify priority watersheds based on species, geographic, and pathway risk assessment.
      • Refines protocols for eDNA sample collection and processing.
      • Proposes a tiered approach in areas of likely Asian carp invasion of both eDNA and traditional sampling. An eDNA guided approach for areas of lower risk of invasion and spread.
      • Sample size and proposed data analysis protocols are recommended.
      • Data management and risk communication strategies are proposed with affected States as communications leads.
  • We are in process of completing a draft and will be rolling it out for partner review. We believe this work will help guide our commitment in FY14
  • ACTION: Susan Mangin will send plan to interested members.

9.  Informational: Panel Updates

Peg Brady recognized the six regional AIS panels for their continued AIS work and dedication. She also voiced appreciation to the Great Lakes Panel for preparing and planning for the cancelled Duluth meeting.

Great Lakes Panel (GLP)
  • Erika Jensen reported that the Great Lakes Panel held a successful spring panel meeting in Duluth, MN. The Panel meeting had several successful plenaries and field trips (to Erie Pier and Great Ships Initiative). The Lt. Governor of Minnesota gave the keynote and other senior leaders joined them on the second day. There was also a funding session where they studied various funding models and mechanisms in use in the Great Lakes to explore how States in the Great Lakes are funding their efforts. It proved to be a valuable session.
    • Action: Erica requested time at upcoming November 2013 ANSTF meeting to present results of the funding discussion from Duluth.
  • The Panel has also provided comments on classroom guidelines and plans to submit comments on water gardening as well.
  • The communication on Regional Panel funding levels that was sent earlier (May 24) mentioned that a call was supposed to be arranged with the panel coordinators, chairs, and co-chairs and the ANSTF co-chairs to discuss the specific impacts of the funding reductions. With this in mind, we recommend convening that conference call.
    • Action: Convene a conference call regarding Regional Panel funding.
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel (NEANS)
  • Ann Bove reported that the NEANS Panel and the Invasive Species Action Network hosted the March International Didymo Conference.                     A white paper is under development with recommendations on approaches following up from this meeting.
  • The Panel completed the monoecious hydrilla literature search and the product is available on their website. They have also revised a hydrilla watch card (in both English and French).
  • The NEANS Panel drafted our annual work plan and budget, including the production of floating key chains with Protect Your Waters message and branding. They are also finalizing guidance for rapid response funding.
  • The draft Northeast Chinese Mitten Crab Plan is under review.
  • They are also revising by-laws and hope to have these completed soon.
Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Panel (GSARP)
  • James Ballard reported that the Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Panel held its spring meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting included updates on the Panel funded projects: reproductive sterility as a tool for prevention/control of AIS and Trojan Y chromosome eradication of invasive fish. Both projects are scheduled to wrap up by the end of the year. The Panel is also working to revitalize its work groups. At the meeting, all the work groups stepped through the Panel’s Strategic Plan to identify goals that they can address and the Early Detection/Rapid Response (EDRR) work group discussed the steps they needed to take to complete the Panel’s revised EDRR Plan. The meeting also included a short session on e- DNA, during which the Panel decided to move forward with a committee to develop a community of practice for e-DNA.
  • The fall meeting will be held the week of September 30th in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Western Regional Panel (WRP)
  • Elizabeth Brown reported that the WRP has hired a new Coordinator, Lea Elwell from the Invasive Species Action Network.
  • WRP has been focusing its efforts on the Panel’s infrastructure – procedures, documents, etc. They have created a membership committee to work on by-laws, legal basis, duties, roles, responsibilities and other needed documentation. The new by-laws have just been sent out for comments.
  • A membership committee has been created to explore several internal issues. They are looking to improve Tribal relationships. They also have had a brainstorming session on how to better engage tribes.
  • The fall WRP meeting will be held September 11-13 in Portland, Oregon.
  • The Attorney General committee, along with Sea Grant, FWS, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and others is hosting two working groups in Denver to address action items from the Phoenix meeting. One working group will be for state coordinators and the other will be for legal representatives. All work will go out for comments.
  • The Recreational Ballast Tank committee has a project underway.
  • They are working to help field programs to be more efficient in addressing mussels.
Mississippi River Basin Panel (MRBP)
  • Lucy Cook-Hildreth, the new co-chair from Texas Parks and Wildlife, reported that they held their last meeting last Fall and their next Panel meeting will be held in July in Columbus, Ohio. This is a joint meeting with MICRA and will focus on the MRBP and Asian carp, including commercial harvest of Asian carp.
  • They have also been working on numerous projects including:
    • The White River crayfish with Missouri.
    • MICRA’s ongoing effort to analyze grass carp production and stocking.
    • The RiverWorks Discovery Project traveling exhibition on AIS is still ongoing.
    • A traveling exhibit making its way to various venues on invasive species.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Panel (MARP)
  • Sarah Whitney from PA Sea Grant reported that spring meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Panel will be held on June 5th in Harrisburg, PA.
  • The Panel reviewed over $80K in grant requests from research to education and outreach and will soon be awarding $40,000 for AIS projects.
  • The panel is also revising SOPs and updating membership list and will hold its fall meeting in Annapolis, MD.

10.  Panel Recommendations

Western Regional Panel (WRP)
  1. Funding to support implementation components of QZAP.

    Response: Jeff Underwood reported that the RFP just closed at grants.gov for quagga/zebra mussels on trailered boats in the West. Approximately, $900K is being provided through this. Region 2 (the Southwest) has the lead for this RFP.

  2. Increased support to the panel(s): A) Increase funding to allow the panel to conduct business; B). Create new vehicles to allow the panel to receive funding as current restrictions limit panels from soliciting funds such as membership or registration fees. Alternative methods of soliciting funding are needed.

    Response: Jeff Underwood responded that we are all wrestling with budget constraints. As we move forward, we need to explore various opportunities. Bring those suggestions forward to the Executive Secretary for the Fall meeting or discussion on a separate call. It takes a community to develop ideas and work together on how we can address this issue. Question: How can we continue to fund these efforts into the future?

    Mike Ielmini reported that there was a recent hearing and the Forest Service had received questions from Congress about what resources are needed. Had DOI also received those same questions? NISC had not received them, but NOAA had.

  3. Provide an update on the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Program at the fall 2013 ANSTF meeting. The WRP is interested and concerned about the fate of this program.

    Response: There is an update planned for November meeting. FWS has provided Wildlife Forever with $50K in FY12 in start-up funding to let them manage it. They’ve hired someone part-time to lead the outreach effort and are working on outreach materials, website updates, and an electronic newsletter. Wildlife Forever has updated the website and is reaching out to new partners. They are also working with the Forest Service. It’s unknown whether Wildlife Forever will be able to provide sustained funding for this effort.
  • Action: Provide an update on the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Program at the fall 2013 ANSTF meeting.

11.  National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan Update (Peg Brady, NOAA/Lori Williams and Chris Dionigi, NISC)

  • This past April, the Administration released the Implementation Plan; it can be found on NOAA’s web site. Various activities are identified where Federal agencies will collaborate. The plan defines activities that locate, control, and eradicate invasive species and invasive species are specifically referenced in the restoration element.
  • The Appendix includes a section on Early Detection/Rapid Response, including recommendations related to funding. The Appendix also includes several milestones related to invasive species (four outcomes and five milestones that link to the White House).
  • The sequestration has been a challenge, but we are looking at how to leverage funds (no new additional dollars for this work at this time). It will require improved collaboration among Federal agencies and other partners.
  • We are looking to get recommendations in front of our leadership soon to discuss these recommendations.

12.  Member Updates (Hot Topics Only)

BLM update - Tom Mendenhall

  • The BLM Fish and Wildlife Conservation Division assumed ANSTF membership in 2007.
  • The BLM fish biologist and ANSTF member has recently accepted a new permanent assignment and has transferred out of the Division. The agency's ANSTF alternate has assumed the duties.
  • The Division is currently undergoing personnel changes in addition to the loss of the fish biologist and ANSTF member. The Division Chief retired with successor yet unnamed, the Wildlife Program Leader will retire the end of June, and the Fish Program Leader (ANSTF alternate) will also retire mid-September.
  • Sequestration has brought delay in filling our current vacant positions causing existing personnel to assume extra duties (i.e., ANSTF duties assumed by the Fish Program Leader) with all programs currently understaffed.
  • The BLM, however, is committed to continuing the duties of ANSTF membership. The Fish Program Leader will brief the Division Chief, when in-place, of the importance of ANSTF involvement and anticipating soon after a permanent BLM ANSTF member named.
  • Until that time, the BLM will be engaged in ANSTF activities as much as time permits.

USFWS update – Craig Martin

  • Comprehensive Management System
    • The FAC Program’s Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species began developing its first Comprehensive Management System (CMS) in November 2011, under the guidance of the Organization of Wildlife Planners, an affiliate member of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA).
    • The purpose of the CMS is to assess the program, address Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) issues and develop a strategy that will provide national leadership for our partners and stakeholders.
    • As a part of the CMS, we developed a draft strategic plan with participation by Regional Service AIS Coordinators, other Headquarters Service Programs, and our external stakeholders.
    • Although this process was put on hold as the agency realigned the "Fish" Program, realignment is now completed, and we are working to complete this important work.
    • The draft strategic plan has gone out to a "Blue Ribbon" panel for an independent peer review.
    • Based on this review, we will complete the current draft and send it back out to our partners and stakeholders for final review and finalization. We expect to get the draft strategic plan out to you all later this summer for your review and comment.
  • Joint MOU
    • The FAC Program has been working with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) since December 2011 to develop an MOU between live animal importers, AFWA, the Service, and Department of the Interior to help prevent future ecological invasions.
    • Although signature by all the parties is expected this week, formal roll-out of the MOU isn't expected until September.
    • The MOU focuses on aquatic, nonnative species not yet in trade in the U.S. and, therefore, should not affect the current economic status of the trade industry.
    • The Service will provide technical assistance to the industry characterizing imported aquatic animals with high and low risk potential as invasive species.
    • The Service has developed a rapid screening tool, known as Ecological Risk Screening under the auspices of the ANSTF and its Non-native Wildlife Screening Workgroup, to determine which species pose a high, low, or uncertain risk of invasion.
    • The Service will provide the import industries a list of species with this invasive potential, and the industries could choose implementation of various risk management approaches, including a focus on lower risk species alternatives for import.
    • The parties recognize that a voluntary agreement still provides import opportunities by entities that are not signatories. Therefore, the Service may pursue injurious wildlife rules for harmful species. The agency is currently pursuing evaluations for 11 high-risk species potentially covered in the MOU.
  • Injurious Wildlife
    • The injurious wildlife provision of the Lacey Act is one of the strongest tools available to the Department of the Interior to manage the risks of invasive species within the living industries trade pathway.
    • Director Ashe asked the Service to improve the Agency’s ability to prevent invasive species introductions. In response, the Service is in process of finalizing a proposed rule that would streamline our rulemaking process and allow the agency to be more protective of U.S. biosecurity.
    • One important aspect of our streamlining our approach is categorically excluding analysis under NEPA. We expected to publish a categorical exclusion in the Federal Register later this month.

USFWS update – Jeff Underwood

  • Co-chair Underwood reported that the Assistant Director for Fish and Aquatic Conservation has been selected – David Hoskins, formerly of Izzak Walton League, will be starting soon.
    • Jeff also reported that the Fish and Aquatic Conservation Vision Document is almost completed and will be sent to the Director and Secretary in late June.

NOAA update – Peg Brady and Susan Pasko

  • Peg Brady reported that Eric Schwaab, the acting NOAA co-chair, is leaving NOAA at the end of June and has taken a job at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. President Obama has nominated Dr. Mark Schaffer who is awaiting confirmation.
  • Susan Pasko then reported NOAA and FWS recently held a HACCP training (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point). Pasko and others are on a development team to make the HACCP materials more effective and develop a train-the-trainer course. The course was rolled out last week in Lakewood, Colorado and was quite successful.
  • ACTION: If interested in HACCP training opportunities, let Susan Pasko know. Susan Mangin will be sending out a call for training in the DC Metro Area for the Fall of 2013.

Forest Service update – Mike Ielmini

  • Mike Ielmini reported on a Forest Service National meeting in Chicago, Illinois. A partnership award for Education and Awareness on Invasive Species was given to John G. Shedd Aquarium. The Shedd Aquarium was given the award in recognition of their outstanding cooperation and achievements in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service on projects related to environmental education and awareness of invasive species issues. The meeting also included work with Wildlife Forever and work with Forest Service on regional panels.
  • They are also continuing our work with various partners, such as Wildlife Forever who are working Forest Service regional panels. Forest Service Policy work has expanded to include NISC and ISAC and, in Forest Service Region 4, they are teaching decontamination techniques to prevent the spread of AIS via firefighters and their equipment.

13.  Meeting Wrap up

  • ACTION: Since this is the first time the ANSTF has held a webinar like this, we would really like to get feedback on how well it worked. Besides the need for more phone lines, please feedback, suggestions, etc. on how this teleconference/webinar went to Susan Mangin.

Public Comment

  • Jeff Underwood asked whether there were additional public comments. No public comments were submitted.

Next Meeting

  • The next ANSTF meeting is scheduled for November 5–7, 2013, at Building 3, NOAA campus.


  • The meeting adjourned at 5:00 PM.