Aquatic Invasive Species

Overview

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors’ & Premiers’ Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force works to stop the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) into the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin. Since its inception, the Task Force has coordinated State and Provincial efforts to combat AIS through strategic regional action. 

The Task Force is charged with building upon ongoing State and Provincial work to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS. To that end, the Task Force created a list of “least wanted” species including the Asian carp, which is helping to inform State and Provincial efforts to protect the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin from AIS. Since 2013, the States and Provinces have taken more than 40 separate actions to restrict these high-risk species. The US federal government similarly restricted four of the “least wanted” AIS.

The Governors’ and Premiers’ Mutual Aid Agreement protects the region from AIS. This groundbreaking agreement:

  • Helps prevent the introduction and spread of AIS.
  • Fosters mutual aid among the States and Provinces to respond to serious threats from AIS.
  • Encourages further cooperative actions by the States and Provinces to combat AIS.

The Task Force continues to coordinate implementation of the Mutual Aid Agreement, including procedures to address potential impediments to providing assistance, and will work to identify additional opportunities for regional collaboration. 

Separately, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario have created an innovative initiative to increase cooperation and harmonize AIS regulations including law enforcement provisions. The Task Force is helping to facilitate this process, and is working to develop a model that can include other States and Provinces in the future.