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 July 18-19, 2023, the ANS Task Force held a public meeting, in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The meeting was held remotely.  The following is an executive summary of the meeting. Additional details about the meeting, including the agenda and detailed meeting minutes can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/program/aquatic-nuisance-species-task-force/meetings.        


The full list of attendees, including the names of individuals present, are recorded in the full meeting minutes. In addition to member organizations below, representatives from each of the 6 regional panels were in attendance.


  • 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
  • Maritime Administration
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Park Service


  • Great Lakes Commission
  • Chesapeake Bay Program
  • San Francisco Estuary Partnership
  • American Water Works Association
  • Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
  • Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission
  • Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resources Association
  • Native American Fish and Wildlife Society
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
  • Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Meeting Agenda Highlights

Update Reports:

  • USGS NAS Database: New Species Occurrences
  • National Invasive Species Council Work Plan
  • OIT Hitchhikers Work Group Progress
  • AIS Commission Report
  • European Green Crab Management Plan
  • Northern Snakehead Management Plan for the Chesapeake Bay
  • Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) Framework
  • Model Process: Rapid Response Fund

Discussion Topics:

  • Evolution of Boating Designs
  • Wildland Fire Operations

Informative Presentations:

  • Great Lakes AIS Landing Blitz
  • Data Driven Tools to Support AIS Management
  • Aquatic Invasive Species in Commerce
  • Science Storytelling through Podcasts
  • Public Harvest be Used To Control Invasive Species
  • Invacost – Economic Database
  • Aggregating risk assessments to support

Decisional Items

  • The ANS Task Force adopted the document “Decontamination Firefighting Equipment to Reduce the Spread of AIS: How to Guide” to be used as a national voluntary guidance document.
  • The ANS Task Force approved the formation of a working group to respond to the report requested by the Don Young Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022 regarding legislative, programmatic, or regulatory changes to eliminate gaps in authorities between members of the Task Force to effectively manage and control the movement of aquatic nuisance species
  • The ANS Task Force approved the National European Green Crab Management and Control Plan for posting in the Federal Register for public comment.
  • The ANS Task Force approved the Model Process for a Rapid Response Fund for Aquatic Invasive Species.

Action Items

  • Executive Secretary will make a request for participants on the Legislative Report Working Group. The Working Group will provide recommendations for a process to develop and the report that meets the requirements outlined in the Don Young Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022.
  • Executive Secretary will prepare a Federal Register Notice for public comment on the National European Green Crab Management and Control Plan. Comments will be forwarded to the European Green Cab Working Group for consideration. Once all comments are addressed, a final plan will be submitted to the ANS Task Force for approval.
  • Executive Secretary will prepare a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Rapid Response Fund for Aquatic Invasive Species, targeting early August for the notice to be posted.

Regional Panel Recommendations

Mid-Atlantic Regional Panel

Chinese Pond Mussel (Sinanodonta woodiana; CPM)  was first discovered in North America in 2010 inhabiting former aquaculture ponds near a tributary of the Delaware River in New Jersey.  Subsequent eradication efforts were believed to be successful.  However, in 2020-2021 using a fit-for-purpose environmental DNA (eDNA) survey tool, CPM were detected within these ponds and in small stream pools just downstream (Delaware River watershed), and at the one surveyed site within the lower Raritan River (Raritan River watershed). …. At this time, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has begun the process to initiate surveys where eDNA detections have been confirmed; however, there is no dedicated funding source for AIS surveying and/or management within New Jersey at this time (state AIS plan is in development). The Mid-Atlantic Panel recommends that the ANSTF provide funding to support such survey efforts in coordination with NJDEP.

Response: The US Fish and Wildlife AIS Program budget, which is used to support the ANSTF, does not currently have any excess funding with which to assist New Jersey with pond mussel surveys and subsequent genetic species confirmation. However, with the approval of the Rapid Response Fund earlier in this meeting, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will be able to submit a competitive grant application to potentially receive rapid response funding for the pond mussel work.  It is anticipated that the first Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Rapid Response Fund will be posted in Grant Solutions in early August 2023.

For More Information

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