Overview

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) 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 16-18, 2021, the ANS Task Force held a virtual public meeting, in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  The following is an executive summary of the meeting.    

Members and Panels Present1

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

Federal:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S Department of Agriculture
  • U.S Department of State
  • 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

Ex-officio:

  • Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
  • Chesapeake Bay Program
  • Great Lakes Commission
  • Lake Champlain Basin Program
  • San Francisco Estuary Partnership

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

Meeting Agenda

Business Items:

  • Adoption of Agenda, Approval of Minutes, Status of Action Items
  • ANS Task Force Subcommittee 2022 Work Plans
  • ANS Task Force Bylaws
  • Public Comment
  • Regional Panel Recommendations

Updates:

  • Vessel Incidental Discharge Act
  • National Plan for Invasive Carp
  • National Invasive Species Council Management Plan
  • USGS NAS Database: New Species Occurrences
  • Wildlife Forever Clean Drain Dry Initiative

Informative Presentations:

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Message Frames and Metaphors
  • Aquatic Plant Pathway Perspectives
  • Champlain Canal Barrier Feasibility Study
  • Communication Efforts Related to the Moss Ball Response
  • Development of the Alabama State ANS Management Plan
  • Eastward Expansion of Round Goby in Interior New York
  • ECOSTAR Rating System for Nonnative Plants and Animals
  • Gap Analysis for Invasive Species Pathways
  • National Horizon Scan for Organisms in Trade

Decisional Items

  • The ANS Task Force approved the “Alabama Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan.”
  • The ANS Task Force approved the “Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Bylaws”
  • The ANS Task Force approved the “Watercraft Inspection Best Management Practices.” pending incorporation of suggested edits and development of a preface to describe the background and intent of the BMPs.
  • The ANS Task Force approved the “National AIS Research Priories List.”
  • The ANS Task Force approved the “Summary of Gaps in Control and Restoration Measures, pending incorporation of suggested edits and removal of appendix”

Action Items

  • The Control, Prevention, Outreach, and Research Subcommittees will consult with the NEANS Panel to determine if the Subcommittees can assist with the response efforts under the Connecticut River Hydrilla Control Project Five-Year Management Plan.
  • The Executive Secretary will coordinate with the EDRR subcommittee and the regional panels to evaluate the Experts Database and develop a recommendation for its modification and/or continuation.
  • The Executive Secretary will coordinate with the Prevention subcommittee to develop a preface to describe the background and intent of the Watercraft Inspection Best Management Practices.
  • The Prevention and Outreach Subcommittees will develop and implement a communications and engagement strategy with eCommerce platforms to limit sale and distribution of AIS by on-line retailers.
  • The Control Subcommittee will coordinate with the ANSTF Co-Chairs to refine a 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…

    Learn more about structure
    consistent with the bylaws for workgroups tasked to update or develop species management plans. 
  • Subcommittees will refine their work plans and resubmit them to the ANS Task Force by December 17. ANS Task Force members and panels will provide comments by January 14.

 Regional Panel Recommendations

Mississippi River Basin Regional Panel (MRBP)

The MRBP recommends that the ANS Task Force evaluate the need for, and utility of, the Invasive Species Experts Database, and consider the need for continued maintenance of the database. If there is continued need and interest in maintaining the database, the ANS Task Force should identify a responsible entity for implementing any recommended structural changes to improve its utility and for managing regular database updates.

  • Response: The Executive Secretary will coordinate with the EDRR subcommittee and the regional panels to evaluate the database and develop a recommendation for its modification and/or continuation. (Action Item)

Northeast Regional Panel (NEANS)

Support the multi-State response efforts under the Connecticut River Hydrilla Control Project Five-Year Management Plan by recommending interstate coordination with the NEANS Panel and the ANS Task Force subcommittees.

  • Response: The subcommittees will meet with the NEANS Panel to discuss the Hydrilla Management Plan and how they can potentially assist with its implementation. (Action Item)

For More Information

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

ANS Task Force Website (https://www.anstaskforce.gov

1 Individuals from Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.  Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center were also present; representatives from these member organizations have been nominated and are awaiting approval.