On November 16-18, 2021, the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force held a three-day virtual meeting. Action items are listed below, followed by a summary of the meeting.

Decisional Items

  • The ANS Task Force made the following decisions:
  • 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 ANS Task Force assigned the following action items:

  • The Control, Prevention, Outreach, and Research Subcommittees will consult with the Northeast Regional 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 Early Detection Rapid Response Subcommittee and the regional panels to evaluate the ANS Experts Database and will 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 work together to 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 on the work plans to the Executive Secretary by January 14.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Welcome

David Hoskins (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)) introduced himself, welcomed the attendees and thanked them for attending virtually. Hoskins reviewed the agenda, which was distributed to registered participants and posted on the ANS Task Force website. Topics on the agenda included informational updates related to the USGS Non-Indigenous Aquatic Species database, National Invasive Species Council Management Plan, ballast water management, and the Alabama State Management Plan. Other items on the agenda were recommendations from the regional panels, updates from each of the subcommittees on the proposed work for the upcoming year, and review of several subcommittee documents for approval, including Watercraft Best Management Practices, Control Gaps Survey Results, and a National AIS Research Priorities List.

Debbie Lee (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ((NOAA) introduced herself. Lee recognized the ANS Task Force members, who volunteer their time from their regular jobs to move Task Force priorities forward, and the outstanding regional panel and subcommittee members who have also dedicated hours of personal time and expertise to ensure that the meeting action items and work plans are progressing.

Susan Pasko (USFWS, ANS Task Force Executive Secretary) introduced herself and went over meeting logistics. She also announced there would be a public comment period at the end of each day.

Self Introductions

Hoskins announced that since this is a virtual meeting we would not ask individuals to introduce themselves. The list of participants can be viewed within Microsoft Teams, which will be downloaded and recorded in the meeting minutes. A roll call was taken of ANS Task Force membership. The complete list of attendees follows.

 

Name

Organization

Aaron Martin

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Adrienne Juby

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Alanna Keating

BoatUS Foundation

Allison Zach

Nebraska Invasive Species Program

Amanda Preston

Wildlife Forever

Amber Stilwell

Pennsylvania State University

Amy Kretlow

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Amy McGovern

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Angela McMellen Brannigan

National Invasive Species Council

Ashley Elgin

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Barak Shemai

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Ben Wishnek

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Benjamin Holen

North Dakota Game and Fish

Benjamin Hayes

Transport Canada

Brennan Kessenich

National Park Service

Brian Schoenung

Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association

Cecilia Weibert

Great Lakes Commission

Cesear Blanco

US Fish & Wildlife Service

Charlie Marlin

University of Florida

Chelsea Bohaty

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Chris Korleski

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Chris Steffen

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

Christine Lipsky

National Park Service

Cindy Williams

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Craig Martin

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dale McPherson

National Park Service

Dane Huinker

Wildlife Forever

Danielle Chesky

Embassy of Canada

Dave Cottle

U.S. Forest Service

Dave Hanken

USDA/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

David Hoskins

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Deborah Lee

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Dennis Riecke

Mississippi Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks

Dennis Zabaglo

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency & Western Regional Panel

Dolores Savignano

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dominique Norton

California Deptarment of Fish and Game

Don MacLean

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Doug Jensen

University of Minnesota Sea Grant

Edna Stetzar

Delaware Department of Natural Resources

And Environmental Control

Elizabeth Brown

North American Invasive Species Management Association

Elroy Masters

Bureau of Land Management

Eric Fischer

Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources

Erika Jensen

Great Lakes Commission

Eugene Braig

Ohio State University

Gene Gilliland

B.A.S.S. LLC

Graham Wagner

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Greg Conover

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Greg Hitzroth

Illinois Natural History Survey; Illinois Indiana Sea Grant

Gwen Bausmith

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Hilary Mosher

Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Hilary Smith

Department of the Interior/Office of the Secretary

Ian Pfingsten

U.S. Geological Survey

Jack Faulk

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

James Ballard

Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission

Janelle Johnson

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

Jim Straub

Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation

Jennifer Poirier

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Jenny Carney

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

John Darling

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

John Morris

U.S. Coast Guard

John Navarro

Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources

John Wullschleger

National Park Service

Jolene Trujillo

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Jonathan Thompson

California State Lands Commission

Justin Jackson

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Karen McDowell

San Francisco Estuary Partnership

Katherine Schrag

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Kelsey Prihoda

Minnesota Sea Grant

Kendra Kundinger

Golden Sands RC&D

Kerry Wixted

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Kevin O'Donnell

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Kim Bogenschutz

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Kim Holzer

Idaho State Department of Agriculture

Kristopher Stahr

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Laura Sprague

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Leah Elwell

Invasive Species Action Network

Lisa Dlugolecki

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Lynn Creekmore

USDA/Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service

Maggie Hunter

U.S. Geological Survey

Mark Lewandowski

Chesapeake Bay Program

Mark Minton

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Marshall Meyers

N. Marshall Meyer PLLC

Martha Volkoff

California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Matthew Neilson

U.S. Geological Survey

Meg Modley

Lake Champlain Basin Program

Megan Considine

Florida Sea Grant

Michael Buntjer

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Michael Hoff

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (retired)

Michele Tremblay

Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Regional Panel

Mike Bober

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council

Mike Ripley

Native American Fish & Wildlife Society, Chippewa Resource Authority

Monica McGarrity

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Nathan Owens

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Nic Zurfluh

Idaho State Department of Agriculture

Nick Torsky

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Olivier Marois

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Paul Zajicek

National Aquaculture Association

Peter Kingsley-Smith

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Phillip Andreozzi

USDA/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Phillip Matson

Flathead Lake Biological Station

Quagga D Davis

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

Raining White

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Robert Walters

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Ron Coleman

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Sandra Keppner

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Sarah LeSage

Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality

Scott George

U.S. Geological Survey

Scott McComb

Wisconsin Sea Grant

Scott Miller

Bureau of Land Management

Scott Smith

North Carolina NC Division of Marine Fisheries

Sean Cross

Native American Fish & Wildlife Society

Sharmila Jepsen

Bureau of Land Management

Sloan Sampson

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Aquatic Invasive Species

Sophie Foster

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Stas Burgiel

National Invasive Species Council

Su Jewell

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Susan Pasko

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tanya Brothen

Department of State

Tara Whitsel

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Teresa Lewis

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Theresa Thom

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Thomas Woolf

Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks

Tim Campbell

Univ. of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute

Todd Nettesheim

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Tyler Kaspar

1854 Treaty Authority

Wes Daniel

U.S. Geological Survey

Adoption of Agenda, Approval of Minutes, Status of Action Items

There was a motion to adopt the agenda, and it was seconded.  There was no discussion. The agenda was approved. 

Lee called for approval of the minutes from the June 2021 meeting. They were distributed to all members electronically and posted on the website. There was a motion to approve the minutes, and a second. There was no discussion. The minutes were approved.

Susan Pasko reviewed the status of the Action Items from the last meeting, listed below.

Action Items from the December 2019 ANS Task Force Meeting

Status/Notes

The ANS Task Force Co-Chairs will refine the draft ANS Task Force Bylaws based on this meeting’s discussion. A revised draft will be distributed to members prior to the next ANS Task Force meeting for review, consideration, and approval at the next meeting.

In progress: An update and discussion on this effort will be provided during the June 2021 meeting.

The Prevention Subcommittee will consult with the Western Regional Panel to determine if the Subcommittee can assist in identifying steps needed to conduct a traffic assessment to inform the strategic placement of roadside inspection stations in new areas.

Complete: The Prevention Subcommittee has reached out to the Western Regional Panel to o assess this need and identify potential actions that can be taken.

The Prevention Subcommittee will consult with the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency to identify possible actions that could be carried out by an ANSTF Ballast Water ad-hoc committee, including collecting and sharing state ballast management programs and approaches.

In progress: The USCG and EPA must complete internal work to deliver on VIDA’s mandates before they can establish this working group. Updates from both agencies will occur on November 16, 2021.

The Environmental Protection Agency will let the Great Lakes and Northeast Regional Panels know if there is a line item in the FY 22 President’s Budget request for the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain Invasive Species Program, in response to their joint recommendation regarding this program. 

Complete: EPA responded at the conclusion of the last meeting that a line item for the GLLCISP was not included in the FY 22 request. The ballast water update on November 16, 2021 will include an update about this program.

The Prevention Subcommittee will distribute the Watercraft Best Management Practices for review by ANS Task Force members and Regional Panels, with a request for comments by September 15, 2021. The BMPs will be on the agenda for review, consideration, and approval at the next Task Force meeting

Complete: The BMPs were distributed following the June meeting. The Prevention Subcommittee will provide an update about the status of the document during their update on November 17, 2021.

The Co-Chairs of the Task Force will work with the Executive Secretary to identify a Plan Coordinator and establish Working Groups to update and revise high priority Species Control and Management Plans.  With the help and input of members of the Task Force, Regional Panel Chairs, and others, the Plan Coordinator will work with the Executive Secretary to develop a list of qualified and interested persons to serve on a Work Group, for review and approval by the Task Force Co-Chairs.

In progress: The Control Subcommittee has reached out to individuals involved with the Species Control and Management Plans to find potential Plan Coordinators and Work Group participants. The Subcommittee will provide an update on this effort on November 18, 2021.

The Control and Restoration Subcommittee will develop a draft Framework for Determining the Need for Aquatic Invasive Species Control and Management Plans for discussion at the next Task Force meeting.

Complete: The Control Subcommittee will be presenting the draft framework during their update on November 18, 2021.

Members of the Task Force and Regional Panel Chairs will provide comments to the Executive Secretary and the Research Subcommittee on the draft list of National Priorities for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species by September 15, 2021 for review, consideration, and approval at the next Task Force meeting.

Complete: The draft list of National Priorities for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species was distributed following the June meeting. The Research Subcommittee will review the comments received and recommending approval of the list about the status of the document during their update on November 18, 2021.

The Outreach Subcommittee will distribute the Community of Practice document to prospective Community of Practice members.

Complete: The Outreach Subcommittee has distributed this list and is planning for the first CoP meeting for later this year. Details will be provided in the subcommittee’s update on November 17, 2021.

Presentation: Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database

Wesley Daniel, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Program Lead, provided an update highlighting recent non-native species introductions reported to the NAS, and overview of recent enhancements to the NAS Database including adding eDNA to the NAS Database, new disease and pathogen database AquaDePTH, inclusion of Canadian data, and rejuvenation of the database.

Overall, there were alerts for 48 species, including 14 fish, 12 plant, and 7 gastropod species. Notable occurrences include a reports of alligator gar in Kansas, Hydrilla in Ohio, parrot feather in Utah, European frogbit in Wisconsin, senbra mussels in South Dakota, and an expansion of snakehead in the upper Delaware River. NAS is close to completing the work for integration of eDNA into the Database. NAS is also updating hydrologic units to current version and adding Canadian hydrosheds as well as developing aquatic disease and pathogen database called AquaDePTH.

Q: Will national and state aquaculture associations be involved in reporting sightings of disease and pathogens?
A: Yes. Partners contributing data will just need to have certain analysis capabilities.

Update: Ballast Water Management; Implementation of Vessel Incidental Discharge Act and Great Lakes and Lake Champlain Invasive Species Program

John Morris (U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)) and Jack Faulk (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) provided an update on developing new ballast water standards under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), which was signed into law on December 4, 2018.  VIDA authorizes the EPA and the USCG to develop new vessel discharge regulations. The EPA national standards of performance is expected to publish in mid-2022. In the meantime, the USCG continues to enforce current Ballast Water regulations until it publishes final VIDA implementing regulations, this includes approving ballast water systems, compliance enforcement, and addressing contingencies. Morris states that for vessels covered by the 2012 rule, the USCG has granted 12,000 active extensions, yet VIDA does not include a statutory mandate to continue to recognize these extensions and the USGC will re-evaluate a need for programs when drafting VIDA regulations. The USCG implementing, monitoring, and enforcement regulations to replace current regulations is expected to publish two years after EPA final rule. Under the new regulations the EPA, the USCG, and U.S. states will have enforcement authority. State enforcement is to be consistent with new USCG inspection, monitoring, data management, and enforcement procedures. Other VIDA activities include the final Viability Policy Letter to evaluate assessment methods for viability of organisms in ballast, expected later in 2021; establishment of a framework, in coordination with the ANS Task Force, for Federal, inter-governmental response to ANS risks from vessel discharges; and bundling the annual Reports to Congress into a revised report.

Jack Faulk stated that the EPA proposed discharge standards in Oct. 2020. The agency has held 10 meetings in last 6 months with states to hear more about concerns on VIDA as part of a re-engagement effort. The states want EPA to retain ballast best management practices from the VGP; perform a more comprehensive review of existing ballast water treatment data to establish standards, including the review of USCG type approval data; and make at least some incremental progress on the control of ballast water discharge from lakers. Faulk also provided an overview of the Great Lakes Ballast Water Research and Development Plan. The Plan addresses some of the stated purposes of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain Invasive Species Program, that being to identify approaches, methods, and best available technologies that are effective at reducing propagules in Great Lakes ballast water. The plan is available on the UW-Superior website. Comments on the plan were solicited earlier in 2021 and the EPA is considering some revisions to the plan based on the comments. Notable accomplishments of the research to date includes completion of land-based testing on two treatment systems. Also, a contract was awarded for shipboard testing with up to four additional awards for shipboard testing possible by the end of this calendar year.

Next Mark Minton from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) provides an overview of recent SERCs activities regarding ballast water and commercial shipping. First Minton described efforts with EPA and USCG to evaluate the potential for commercial shipping to be a vector in the spread of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in the Caribbean. Second, he described the establishment of a new Sentinel Site in the Great Lakes for systematic and standardized sampling for benthic and planktonic AIS. This Sentinel Site compliments those in Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay, and Tampa Bay.

Q:  Where exactly is the Great Lakes sentinel site?
A: Duluth, Minnesota in Lake Superior. It was determined based on volume of water coming in, both outside of the Great Lakes and in the Great Lakes. SRC may consider a second site in the southwest corner of Lake Erie.

Q: Are both laker and international vessels being sampled in Duluth?
A: Yes. We want to look at the whole range of shipping traffic.

Comment – consider using the Great Lakes AIS Risk mapper. Duluth may be less likely to be invaded based on habitat constraints.

In the last presentation of this session Chris Korleski (EPA) provided information on the Great Lakes Lake Champlain Invasive Species Program (GLLCISP). VIDA required the EPA to establish the GLLCISP within the Great Lakes National

Program Office (GLNPO), in collaboration with other federal, state, tribal, and local agencies. Korleski reported that although VIDA authorized the appropriation of $50 million annually to fund the GLLCISP, funding has yet to be appropriated. However existing activities underway in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain basins support, to some extent, the stated purposes of the GLLCISP. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) annual planning and budgeting process also provides a forum to review activities and emerging ANS issues. These efforts have allowed states from both basins to strengthen control and prevention efforts and begin to address existing gaps.

Update: National Invasive Species Council Update

Stas Burgiel, Executive Director of the National Invasive Species Council (NISC), provided an update on NISC activities and progress in the implementation of its FY2021 Annual Work Plan with a focus on areas of overlapping interest for the ANS Task Force. The process for developing the 2022 work plan is still ongoing and the plan should be finalized soon. NISC also is near finalization of white papers on Federal agency rapid response roles and responsibilities as well as options to develop a Rapid Response Fund. Both papers are currently undergoing agency clearance. An eDNA technical paper that outlines considerations for 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
managers to utilize eDNA was published in Management of Biological Invasions earlier this year; the associated white paper is undergoing agency clearance. NISC is also working with partners to advance coordination of wildland fire and invasive species. A draft summary of priorities has been developed and is being reviewed to identify how they can be incorporated into existing and new efforts, especially those linked to funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and to work with non-federal partners. NISC is also preparing for the possible reconstitution of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee which provides advice in support of NISC’s mandate on invasive species issues.

Update: Wildlife Forever Clean Drain Dry Initiative Update

Amanda Preston, Wildlife Forever, provided an update on the Clean Drain Dry Initiative Program that works in partnership with resource managers and community stakeholders to enhance education and public awareness of ANS. Since 2006, Clean Drain Dry, the national public awareness and education program, has reached over 2 billion contacts. Each year, through consistent messaging and targeted outreach marketing the Initiative is influencing people to take action at the boat ramp, on the trail, and in the field. Wildlife Forever’s Protect the West efforts are educate the public about ANS spread prevention and Reduce confusion about AIS transportation laws when traveling between states. New public service announcements have also been developed to targeted canoeists and other non motorized users to help protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Wildlife Forever is also working alongside the USFWS and North American Invasive Species Management Association to increase signage and build boat clearing stations on Federal lands.  Wildlife Forever has also formed new partnerships with American Sportfishing Association, Major League Fishing, Yamaha Rightwaters, and USAngling to engage members of the professional angling community. Finally the new Clean Drain Dry Ambassador of the year program has developed to New program: honors select individuals that demonstrate exceptional community service for the prevention of invasive species. The inaugural recipient was Curt Quesnell of Williams, Minnesota.

Decisional: Alabama State ANS Management Plan

Steve Rider, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries provided a brief overview of the revised Alabama ANS Management Plan and its developmental process.

Decision: A Motion for approval was made and seconded. There was no further discussion; all were in favor: The Alabama ANS Management Plan was approved.

Regional Panel Recommendations

Recommendation from the Northeast ANS Regional Panel (NEANS Panel): 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 following ANS Task Force subcommittees:

  1. Control subcommittee: Request US Army Corps of Engineers, US Dept. of Transportation, and/or US Fish and Wildlife Service lead as technical and financial support for long-term, multi-State, management efforts on navigable waters through review and implementation of the Connecticut River Hydrilla Control Project Five-Year Management Plan with the outcome of containment and reduction of known hydrilla populations within the Connecticut River;
  2. Prevention subcommittee: Prioritize boat launch and marina inspections at waterbodies with established hydrilla populations by purchasing and installing signage and cleaning stations from federal funds with the outcome of supporting a CT River boat steward program and standardized data collection to assess spread risk of hydrilla to other waters;
  3. Outreach subcommittee: Inform boaters of the new hydrilla strain and its economic and ecological impact risks through collaborations with the NEANS Panel to produce outreach material with the outcome of promoting awareness of hydrilla spread risks to regional stakeholders and the public;
  4. Research subcommittee: Ask northeast States (though all States can contribute) to test for cyanobacteria toxins from hydrilla populations by submitting plant samples to Dr. Susan Wilde of Univ. of Georgia with the outcome of determining the risk of ecological and human health impacts from cyanobacteria blooms in hydrilla populations; funding is provided through a USGS grant to assist with sample shipping and analyses.

Response: The recommendation was forward to each subcommittee listed. The Subcommittee chairs meet individuals with the NEANS Panel following the meeting to discuss these needs and determine what actions can be taken to address these needs. (Action Item).

Recommendation from the 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. It is recommended that the ANS Task Force co-chairs identify a staff member or standing committee to be responsible for conducting a review of the database and recommending either modifications for altering the database as needed or discontinuing 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 Early Detection Rapid Response Goal of the ANSTF Strategic Plan has the following action item “3.2 Maintain and assess the use of the ANS Task Force Expert Database to strengthen its use as a tool to facilitate EDRR preparedness and response.” The Experts Database was originally constructed in the early 1990’s, due to its age it will need to be modernized to be incorporated into the new ANSTF website. This will provide an opportunity to evaluate the database and make modifications. The Executive Secretary will coordinate with the EDRR subcommittee and the regional panels to evaluate the database and will develop a recommendation for its modification and/or continuation. (Action Item)

Discussion: ANS Task Force Bylaws

Hoskins reminded the ANS Task Force there was an action item from the June 2021 meeting to continue to refine the Draft ANS Task Force Bylaws, establishing roles, responsibilities, and operating procedures. Revisions were made to clarify how a majority is determined, the establishment and function of the subcommittees, and meeting attendance.

Q: Do the bylaws need to be published in the Federal Register?
A: Accor dining to the Act and FACA regulations, only meeting notices and control plans are required to be published in the Federal Register.

Discussion: Coordination Goal Updates and 2022 Work Plan

Susan Pasko provided an overview of progress on the Coordination Goal within the ANS Task Force Strategic Plans. In addition to routine operations regarding meeting and reporting logistics, a new member information packet was created. Efforts to refresh the ANS Task Force wensote and create an electronic platform for member accomplishments are in development and will continue into the next year. New work elements for 2022 include drafting the 2021 ANS Task Force Report to Congress and working with NISC and the USDA National Invasive Species Information Center to identify opportunities to advance information and data management.

Public Comment

An opportunity was provided for public comments.  There were no public comments.

Adjourn Day 1

November 17, 2021

Welcome

The group was welcomed by Lee, who asked any ANS Task Force members not present on Day 1 to introduce themselves.

Update & Discussion: Prevention Subcommittee Updates and 2022 Work Plan

James Ballard from the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission provided an update on the Prevention Subcommittee work plan items, including:

  • Pathways Risk Assessment evaluation: requires a literature review as a foundation step to this assessment, advancement of this work element will depend on the availability of staff time and funding to complete the literature review.
  • Organisms in trade data:
    • USFWS has been working on internal agreements to provide information on imports to the Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species (BAIS). USFWS Office of Law Enforcement and BAIS now have approval to work together to develop a mechanisms to share data.
    • USGS and USFWS have nearly completed a global horizon scan on vertebrate organisms coming into the US.
  • Gaps in Prevention –A proposal was submitted to USFWS for Prevention Funds to work on a gap analysis with University of Florida and it was funded. This work is moving forward, presentation to discuss the methods will be provided later in the meeting.
  • Ad-Hoc Committee on ANSTF Roles and responsibilities under VIDA
    • The subcommittee is awaiting EPA/USCG to compete work on the new standards

Proposed new work by the Prevention Subcommittee for 2022 includes working with the Western regional panel on marine mobile infrastructure recommendations, finalizing the award for the sea plane risk analysis, and evaluating the aquatic plant trade for the risk on transporting ANS.

Comment: Would like to add a subtask to Strategy C: outreach to large on-line market places for AIS.  This topic could benefit from engagement at the Federal level. 

An action item was made for the Prevention and Outreach Subcommittees to work together to develop and implement a communications and engagement strategy with eCommerce platforms to limit sale and distribution of AIS by on-line retailers.

An action item from the June 2021 ANS Task Force meeting was to distribute the Watercraft Best Management Practices (BMPs) for review by ANS Task Force members and Regional Panels. Ballard provided an overview of the comments received and changes made to the BMPs to address the comments.   If adopted by the ANS Task Force, they would advisory documents, not regulatory or used to restrict funding opportunities. 

Q: Is the 30 day period a requirement or a verbal risk assessment?
A: It is a verbal risk assessment. The west has found value in asking this as the boat may have been in a negative body of water, but in an infested water body within the last 30 days. 

Q: Is there any recommendation to report this information?
A: The west is recording and reporting this information. Recommend that the BMPs are amended to recommend that this information be recorded.

Comment: Although we acknowledge that the BMPs are advisory, this is not stated anywhere in the document. Past ANSTF advisory documents have an introductory piece for how the document was created and how it should be used.

Comment: The bait language and “if applicable” for boat entrance should be consistent on all three documents.  Motion to amend a motion add words: “if applicable” in the entrance document.  Also would like to see the language with the “Some jurisdictions may not have the authority to inspect for live aquatic bait”. 

Comment: An introduction will be created with the information before it is distributed or placed on the website.  Asked for a motion to adopt to three documents with “advice” written in and cover page tying the pages together.

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.

Presentation: ECOSTARTM : A Rating System for Nonnative Plants and Animals

Mike Hoff, a retired biologist from the USFWS, provided an overview of the ECOSTARTM rating system for live, nonnative animals and plants considered for use in aquaria, water gardens, schools as instructional aides, aquaculture, live-food markets, and in various other supply chains.  This rating system is based on climate matching and history of invasiveness, and was developed to provide a summary and synthesis of technical information into plain language.  ECOSTARTM labels could/should appear online and on nonnative species containers, or other means of conveyance in supply chains, thus providing nonnative species risk information to importers, domestic producers, sellers (wholesale and retail), and consumers/buyers so that everyone is empowered to make informed decisions on plants and animals we wish to import, sell, buy, and keep.

Q: Would industry be willing to use these labels?
A: Industry that did peer review on these did not express any issues with it. They are generally supportive of things that help them market their products in a sustainable manner.

Q: Is ECOSTAR just for aquatics or is it for terrestrial, too?
A: Not currently for terrestrial, but could be expanded.

Presentation: Conducting a gap analysis for invasive species pathways

Zoey Hendrickson, a graduate student from the University of Florida, presented methods to be used to conduct a gap analysis of new species introductions. Using the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database, in addition to other records, case studies of prominent AIS have been identified to perform a gap analysis to better understand where current AIS preventative measures have been ineffective, potentially from gaps in authority. The end products will include analysis of the current state of AIS prevention, policy recommendations and new measures to fill any "gaps" in prevention measures, a review of current prevention tools, and a set of metrics to measure future effectiveness.

Q: Will enforcement of prevention mechanisms be evaluated as part of this?
A: We will be. If the prevention program is there but not enforced, the lack of enforcement is the gap.

Q: Will there be a metric for responsible industry decisions or behaviors so we don’t only look at government behaviors?
A: We haven’t considered it, but it is a good suggestion.

Discussion: Aquatic Plant Pathway

David Hanken, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), presented on the current authorizes used to manage the aquatic plant importations. The APHIS strives to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources by excluding and eradicating invasive plant and animal pests and diseases, regulate genetically engineered crops, administer the Animal Welfare Act, and help people and wildlife coexist.  The lead program for APHIS regarding the imports and exports to protect Animal Health is Veterinary Services. Its authority comes from the Animal Health Protection Act and regulations supporting the Act can be found under Title 9 of the CFR. After 9-11, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) took over port inspections of imported animal products, but APHIS retained the inspection of live animals.

The lead program for APHIS regarding plant health is Plant Protection & Quarantine (PPQ). Its authority is provided by the Plant Protection Act (PPA). This Act allows the regulation of plants, plant products, certain biological control organisms, noxious weeds, and plant pests that are imported or transit the U.S. and territories. Parts 319 and 330 of PPA state regulations with regards to ensuring that foreign plant pest pathways are monitored and plant pest risks are mitigated. Part 319 is known as “quarantine regulations” and are specific to categories of agriculture products, such as propagative material (moss balls). Part 330 is the regulation that lays out regulatory oversite of all pathways into the U.S.: conveyances, cargo shipments, people, etc. and explains when and how emergency actions to are taken prevent the introduction of plant pests. Part 330 also grants warrantless inspections of people, conveyances, cargo, mail, that are entering the U.S. from abroad to prevent the dissemination of plant pests into the U.S. The Plant Health mission is shared with CBP. CBP inspects plant products, conveyances, and people as well as refers shipments of plants for planting (like moss ball plants, but also seeds of woody or restricted plants) to PPQ. PPQ inspects plants for planting at sixteen inspection stations, strategically located at major ports of entry or in key territories. To help assess the moss ball pathway and coordinate inspections of moss ball plants with USFWS, APHIS has restricted entry to JFK and LAX.

For approval to enter the U.S., a market access request is required for the plant taxa that their exporters wish to export. Once the request is received, a commodity risk assessment is performed which identifies potential plant pests and import restrictions. A Federal Register notice on proposed rulemaking is published, APHIS receives comments, and then pursues a Final Rule (a change to regulations) which states the entry conditions in which a plant taxa must meet when arriving in the U.S. Once a plant taxa is approved for importation, the regulations list general requirements that must be met:

  • Phytosanitary Certificate: prior to export from the country of origin, an official inspection occurs to ensure that the shipment meets U.S. entry requirements and is apparently plant pest/disease free. This inspection and results are captured on phytosanitary certificates which are official Gov to Gov documents certifying the pest/disease freedom of the shipment they cover.
  • The Import Permit lists the entry requirements to inform the importer about entry requirements and aids when enforcement needs to occur due to a non-compliance, such as:
    • plant pests found with the shipment which are not known to occur in the U.S. or are of limited distribution and officially controlled
    • Missing paperwork or major discrepancy
    • Smuggling un-authorized plants
  • Entry is limited to major ports that are near/at one of our Plant Inspection Stations
  • Inspection required for plants upon arrival, at the port they arrived at, and before they enter U.S. commerce.

Plant Inspection Process begins with a review of documents to determine what is arriving so we can identify the entry requirements or restrictions. Then a physical inspection is performed to determine if plant numbers and types match invoices and detect any plant pests in the shipment. Clean shipments are released into U.S. commerce; however, if organisms or disease symptoms are found, they are submitted as suspect plant pests for taxonomic ID. Once identified, regulatory action is taken if the identified organism is considered a quarantine pest that feeds on or damages plant hosts and is not present in the U.S. or is present and officially controlled. If identified a Non-quarantine pest or diseases, no action is taken by APHIS and the shipment is released into U.S. commerce. APHIS does not have the authority to take regulatory action on organisms that do not pose a risk to plants or are a public health threats.

Due to concerns expressed earlier this year about contaminated moss ball shipments with zebra mussels, APHIS responded by ensuring that their workforce was aware of the zebra mussel threat, biology, and associated plant taxa. Local USFWS is notified of any pending moss ball shipment to allow for transfer of custody to USFWS or to coordinate inspections at the PPQ inspection station. If an organism found during inspection is considered to be an invasive species of possible concern to USFWS the agency is notified.

Q: What risk management for e-commerce is going on from USDA?
A: USDA has a smuggling interdiction force with an e-commerce component that ensures e-commerce is legal. Can follow up with more information?

Q: Can you speak to communication between APHIS and states during the moss ball incident, specifically anything that was learned to improve the situation for next time.
A: APHIS has a strong relationship with the national plant board. Most communication, however, was through the ANSTF or USFWS.

Update & Discussion: Outreach Subcommittee Updates and 2022 Work Plan

Doug Jensen, University of Minnesota Sea Grant, provided an update on the Outreach Subcommittee work plan items, including:

  • National ANS Campaign Assessment: the award has been made, the contractor selected has met with the subcommittee and work is underway with results expected in summer 2022. The information gained from this assessment will be used by the subcommittee to draft a communication framework to guide future outreach efforts.
  • Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Portal: A request of materials to populate the site was made to regional panels and AIS coordinators, So far 216 materials have been submitted from 211 responses. In 2022, subcommittee will review the materials and establish criteria to determine what materials should be uploaded onto the portal.
  • Identify social science research priority needs: Coordinated with the Research Subcommittee to review the responses for outreach priorities. Will continue to review future drafts of the National AIS Research Priorities List.
  • ANS Community of Practice: The subcommittee developed a document which provides an overview of its purpose, member roles and benefits. The ANS CoP will be carried over into 2022 work plan.
  • ANS Task Force Fact Sheets: One pager about the ANS Task Force and regional panels has been developed and is under review. This will be finalized in 2022, and updated annually. The subcommittee will also developed powerpoint slides to be inserted into ANS briefings and presentations.

Presentation: Moss Ball Response: Communication

Gwen Bausmith, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, presented on the communications techniques used earlier this year to inform various audiences about moss balls detected with zebra mussels. The first phase was described as the Crisis Response and information was provided quickly to the public using a website as the primary resource. The website was updated frequently updated with current information about the response. The second phase targeted multiple audiences including agency leadership partners, and the public. Briefing documents were composed, ensuring that the messaging was relevant to each audience. The website served as a landpaging page for information, many others linked to it which ensured consistent messaging. Social media and videos from influencers (e.g., TikTok and Harli G.) attracted large numbers to the website. Important takeays from the response were to 1) separate content by audience, 2) use web and social to distribute messaging, and 3) focus on good content and actions.

Q: Was all of the influencer traffic organic?
A: Yes. Getting the webpage out there as one of the best things we could do because he had good, easy to use information for people to base their content on.

Q: Lessons learned for communications on this?
A: Moving forward we should foster additional  relationships with influencers to expand our reach. Last minute it is difficulty,  we should be proactive in doing this.

Comment: The ANS Task Force and USFWS did a great job, communciations was quick and clear

Q: How do you keep this issue relevant? How do we continue to reach people?
A: We need to meet to refresh our message and get in in front of people.

Presentation: Aquatic Invasive Species Message Frames and Metaphors

Tim Campbell, Wisconsin Sea Grant, presented in the research of outreach messages that was conducted with Bret Shaw at the University of Wisconsin Extension.Message frames are often used to communicate about invasive species due to the additional meaning they provide. They appear in calls to action like “join the battle against invasive species,” “unwelcome exotics,” or “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers.” However, little is known about how stakeholders respond to these message frames. This research tested five common message emphasis frames used in invasive species communication (militaristic, nativist, hitchhiker, protective & science). These message frames were placed in social media advertisements about zebra mussels to determine the impact each message frame had on user online behavior. Different impacts of message frame were found across the analyzed metrics – cost per click, sharing, and comments. It is important to note that neither Militaristic nor Nativist outperformed Science on any measured outcome. Coupled with ethical considerations, our results suggest the use of Nativist and Militaristic frames are not necessary to influence online behavior. Message frames without ethical issues can be used to achieve the outcomes we tested without compromising message effectiveness. Different messages promote different actions and good framing can maximize desired actions while limiting unintended consequences

Public Comment

An opportunity was provided for public comments.  There were no public comments.

Adjourn Day 2.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Welcome

Hoskins welcomed everyone to Day 3, and asked ANS Task Force members not present on Day 1 or 2 to introduce themselves.

Presentation: Champlain Canal Barrier Feasibility Study / Round Goby eDNA Study

Scott George, U.S. Geological Survey, presented a study of the eastern expansion of the round goby to the New York State Canal System. The goby is a non-native benthic fish from the Ponto Caspian region of Eurasia, believed have arrived by ballast water in 1990 and now established in all 5 Great Lakes. The range of this invasive species now expanding through the New York State Canal System into the Hudson River, with concern that the species may move north into Lake Champlain. A project started in 2016 to determine the best early detection technique for tracking the invasion front of round goby, comparing benthic trawling, minnow trapping, seining, and eDNA sampling at 12 sites on the canal system between Oneida Lake and the Hudson River. Of the three traditional sampling types, benthic trawling was the most effective method. At many sites eDNA was detected during consecutive surveys before round goby were  captured with trawling. This suggests that eDNA was able to detect patchy populations or populations located immediately upstream that were missed with traditional sampling methods. However, the data from eDNA samples can be challenging to interpret and it is not always clear how nearby the source population is located. Thus, it is important to use eDNA in conjunction with traditional sampling methods to obtain the most actionable information.

The Water Resources Development Act of 2000 authorized the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct a Champlain Canal Barrier Feasibility Study as well as construct, operate operate
To manipulate the controls of any conveyance, such as, but not limited to, an aircraft, snowmobile, motorboat, off-road vehicle, or any other motorized or non-motorized form of vehicular transport as to direct its travel, motion, or purpose.

Learn more about operate
, and maintain a barrier that would block the movement of species along the Champlain Canal. In the next presentation, Meg Modley, Lake Champlain Basin Program, provided an update on this study. Although authorized in 2000, funding was not secured to begin the study until 2017.  USACE assessment conditions of the canal,
which identified 10 possible measures for controlling the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Six alternatives were defined using combinations of the 10 control measures. The favored alternative by steakeholders is a berm structure that stretches across the canal stucture and reverses the flow of the water to that it flows towards the Hudson instead of Lake Champlain. Commercial traffic would no longer be able to move through the system with the berm, but boats up to 100 feet in length could be lifted up, decontaminated, and placed on the other side of the structure 
which inform different control measure alternatives to reduce or eliminate the risk of AIS transport. A multi-criteria decision analysis looked at a number of different impacts such as environmental impacts and maintenance requirements. Phase one of the report is due in December 2021, after which additional data is needed to maintain navigation and begin the NEPA process before the design may go into its implementation phase. While this project is authorized in Section 5146 of the Water Resources Development Act, funds have not been appropriated. Resources to do the feasibility study were  through a different USACE authorization. However, this work aligns with former Governor Cuomo's Reimagine the Canals initiative, which focuses on reconnecting existing watersheds and addressing AIS transfer through the entirety of the canal system in the State of New York.

Q: What is the level of sensitivity for eDNA tests, do laboratory methods vary?
A: The primary mechanism of DNA being in the water is cells that are shed. The eDNA will be able to be detected for about two weeks before it degrades. Since eDNA can be moved by boats or dredging operations, there was concern that round goby maybe several miles away from there eDNA was detected, but that was not the case in this study.

Q: How do you prevent all eDNA collections, if you are using gear that could be contaminated from prior goby catches?
A: We would generally collect all the eDNA samples up to five days in advance before traditional gear was used.

Q: Are there efforts underway to implement population control, or suppression of the round goby to prevent further expansion?
A: Right now focus is on prevention, the population is very widespread and would be difficult to reduce with current technology.

Update & Discussion: Early Detection Rapid Response Subcommittee Updates and 2022 Work Plan

Wes Daniel, U.S. Geological Survey, provided an overview of the work of the Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) Subcommittee, including: capacity building within the NAS database, guidance or training for rapid response, and identifying opportunities for an emergency rapid response fund. A new work element will assess horizon scan tools and building a framework for targeted monitoring with the goal of developing watch lists. Several horizon scans are ongoing or completed, with additional studies planned. The watch lists that result can be used for additional analysis, including looking for areas within the U.S. that have a potential risk of new introductions (hot spot analysis). The subcommittee is also considering building a Community of Practice for eDNA practitioners to help support decision making.

Q: Who is conducting the horizon scans?
A: They are being jointly conducted though a mix of universities, federal and state agencies, as well as tribes. 

Q: How are you engaging people outside the AIS community that also work with eDNA?
A: Asking groups, such as the Task Force, to identify individuals as well as reaching out to the broader scientific community when working on eDNA standards for the NAS database.

Presentation:  National Horizon Scan for Organisms in Trade

Daniel: The focus of this project is to conduct a global horizon scan to help identify alien vertebrate species within the Organisms in Trade Pathway at greatest risk of entering the country, establishing populations, and becoming invasive in the U.S. Our work will address arrival, establishment, and impact via consideration of propagule pressure, climatic similarity to occupied range, and prior invasion history of the focal species and its relatives. The project started with 21,000 species, which as reduced down to focus on the species of highest concern. The goal of the project is to conduct a global horizon scan to help identify alien vertebrate species within the organisms of trade pathway with the greatest risk of entering the country, establishing and becoming invasive. Risk will be identified only nationally as well as regionally using 13 ecoregions. Each species is scored on three risk categories: likelihood of establishment, invasion history, and negative impacts. Next step is for the subject matter experts to review the scoring results and finalize the watch lists. The development of watch lists can guide early detection efforts, can help inform resource managers, and can provide a repeatable tool for early detection and rapid response efforts (EDRR). In addition, watch list(s) can be used to prioritize evaluations under the injurious Wildlife Provisions of the Lacey Act.

Q: How does with work align the the USFWS Ecological Risk Screening Summaries?
A: The assessments are a good check for the work and provide a more detail review of next steps. Not all species included in the study have an Ecological Risk Screening Summary.

Q: How many fish species were reviewed?
A: 320.

Q: Did the possibility to transmit disease to wildlife, not just to humans, factor into the discussion as far as species "negative impacts"?
A: Yes.

Q: Are you using Climatch for your climate matching?
A: We developed our own code for Climatch to remove any prior issues with the tool. 

Q: How does this relate to the EcoStar work that was presented on Tuesday?
A: There is a lot of opportunity for collaboration as both projects are working to identify high risk species.

Q: Why are Cuban tree frogs not on the amphibian list?
A: Because they have already established.

Update & Discussion: Research Subcommittee Updates and 2022 Work Plan

Susan Pasko (USFWS), provided an overview of the work of the Research Subcommittee. The main focus of the subcommittee this year was to finalize the National AIS Priority Research List. After presenting the draft list at the June Task Force meeting, the document was distributed to Task Force members and regional panels for review. The review period help to clarify some priorities and help streamline the document. The subcommittee did not incorporate suggestions for priorities to be added to the list as they were submitted outside the established process to collect and evaluate AIS priorities. Instead, suggestions were recorded by the Subcommittee and will be included in the evaluation for the next revision of the National Priorities List. The next steps for the subcommittee are to develop a Communications Plan to promote the AIS Research Priorities List to the scientific community that may have the expertise or capacity to advance specific priorities and appropriate federal entities that make be able to leverage this work. The subcommittee also plans to survey ANS Task Force members and regional panels for a list a list of funded or planned AIS research. This information will be used to track progress of the list, communicating any gaps to the ANS Task Force. A system will also be developed to communicate completed studies or results that address priority research needs. Lastly, the Research Subcommittee plans to update the list annually, if needed, to capture new or immediate threats. The Subcommittee recognizes that the responses may or may not change each year but an annual review will allow the ANS Task Force to better document the potential changes and/or consistencies in research accomplishments and needs.

A motion was made, seconded, and the ANS Task Force approved the “National AIS Research Priories List.”

Update & Discussion: Control Subcommittee Updates and 2022 Work Plan

Kim Bogenschutz, the Invasive Species Committee chair of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, provided an overview of the work of the Control Subcommittee, including:

  • Determining a Plan Liaison, if needed, for each ANS Management and Control Plan to monitor and report plan progress and implementation needs and assisting Plan Liaisons in finding Plan Managers and forming ad-hoc subcommittees to revise any ANS Mgmt and Control Plan determined to be of high priority for a revision or update. Plan liasions and plan managers have been identified for green crab and New Zealand mudsnail plans, still reaching out to experts to identify these positions for the other plans.
  • Developing a formal process to approve development of additional ANS Management and Control Plans. A first draft of this decision making process is progress.
  • Surveying ANS Task Force members and regional panels for gaps in control and restoration measures. This survey has combined with that used to develop the Research Priorities List. The results have been summarized into a report for ANS Task Force approval.
  • Identifying federal and non-federal entities that have the ability to develop and test new control and restoration measures. Control subcommittee will work with the Research subcommittee to identify potential entities for this work.

A motion was made, seconded, and the The ANS Task Force approved the “Summary of Gaps in Control and Restoration Measures, pending incorporation of suggested edits and removal of appendix”

Presentation: Species Management Plan Implementation

Amy McGoven, USFWS, provided background and an update on the implemtation of the National Invasive Carp Management Plan. 8      Collaboration started  in 2000 with the first interagency workshop for invasive carps, and breakout sessions focused on the issues of preventing the spread, detection and monitoring, population control and abatement, and research and information exchange. In 2002, the Task Force requested the USFWS to develop a national plan, management and control plan for invasive carps.  In 2004, a working group was organized with broad and diverse representation from partners to really participate in the writing of the national plan. The working group developed 48 strategies, and 131 recommendations to manage and control invasive carps. Partners worked within sub basins to write control strategy frameworks to step down the National plan.15 years later the plan continues to serve as an overarching umbrella phase plan that remains relevant and provides the flexibility for local action and adaptive management over time through those sub basin frameworks. Additional work is needed at local scales to make meaningful connections across the basins and align with the intent of the National plan This year sub basis began to build a structure to standardization monitoring approaches, and  data management to increase coordination across multiple scales and jurisdictions. 

Meeting Summary

Decisional and Action Items are listed at the beginning of the meeting minutes.

We are in flux as to whether an in-person meeting is possible for the next meeting. We are scheduled to have the next meeting hoisted by the NEANS Panel. We will make a decision in regards to if an in-person meeting can be pursued.

Public Comment

An opportunity was provided for public comments.  There were no public comments.

Adjourn Meeting