Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Supports Projects Addressing Early Detection and Rapid Response for Aquatic Invasive Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced four projects that will receive $785,000 to address the early detection and rapid response for 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

Aquatic invasive species cause tremendous harm to our environment, our economy, and our health. They can drive out and eat native plants and wildlife, spread diseases, and damage infrastructure. The U.S. spends billions of dollars every year to manage and control these aquatic invaders and protect the nation's waters. Although prevention is the most effective approach to eliminate or reduce the threat of aquatic invasive species, Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) serves as a failsafe when prevention measures are ineffective or unavailable.

Recognizing the need for action, the U.S. Department of the Interior identified advancing a National EDRR Framework for invasive species as a priority for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding and took steps to invest in supporting components of such a framework. One such critical component was the establishment of a pilot Rapid Response Fund for Aquatic Invasive Species that can be used to assess and support response actions for quick containment or eradication of newly detected species.

The four selected projects comprise the first quarter of awardees of this Rapid Response Fund, which received $4 million over four years to address invasive species. The rapid response funds are awarded quarterly through a competitive funding opportunity to allow timely response to new species threats while maintaining a fair, competitive, and transparent process. These first-quarter investments include projects in Alaska, California, Nevada and Rhode Island. The Rapid response fund is administered within the existing authorities of the Service’s Fish and Aquatic Conservation program and coordinated though the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

The aquatic invasive plant hydrilla, pictured here, is the focus of a project in Indian Lake, Rhode Island.

Second Quarter Rapid Response Funding Recipients

Project NameStateFunding
Rapid response to the first known signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus, occurrence in a Minnesota lakeMinnesota$253,326.79
Rapid Response Plan for Hydrilla(Hydrilla Verticillata) in MassachusettsMassachusetts$251,000.00

First Quarter Rapid Response Funding Recipients

Project NameStateFunding
Eradication of the invasive aquatic plant elodea in the Yukon River BasinAlaska$234,000
Eradication of the founding population and delineation of Caulerpa prolifera in the Coronado Cays and South San Diego BayCalifornia$350,000
Australian redclaw crayfish eradication in the Clark County Wetlands ParkNevada$68,000
Control of newly found hydrilla in Indian LakeRhode Island$133,000

Read the full Notice of Funding Opportunity for the rapid response fund. 

If you are interested in the rapid response competitive funding opportunity and would like to learn more about it, visit the Frequently Asked Questions about the Rapid Response Fund page on the ANS Task Force site.

Additional details outlining the structure and process for operation of the rapid response fund can be found in The Model Process: Rapid Response Fund for Aquatic Invasive Species.

The Aquatic Invasive Species Program

The Service's Aquatic Invasive Species program safeguards waterways and communities from invasive species by working with partners and educating the public. Our regional coordinators work closely with the public and private sector partners and our network of conservation offices to conduct on-the-ground control projects and early detection surveillance and monitoring, and provide technical support. The Service also develops regulations to prohibit the importation and some transport of harmful species known as injurious wildlife and serves as a co-chair to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Story Tags

Aquatic animals
Aquatic plants
Invasive species