2015 Briefing Recap: Invasive Species Success Stories – They Exist!

On April 16, 2015, the NEMWI hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on efforts to control invasive species. Although the discourse regarding invasive species has been doom and gloom, through coordination, research, and federal support, the Great Lakes are leading the way with solutions to manage and remove invasive species. Speakers from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey discussed their efforts, partnerships, and achievements in finding ways to control, though not eradicate, invasive species. They provided staff background on invasive species efforts regarding sea lamprey, which at one point devastated the lake trout fisheries in the Great Lakes. Speakers also discussed efforts targeted at the zebra and quagga mussels, which after entering the US through the Great Lakes have spread throughout the country, down the Mississippi River and out west. Though prevention and early detection are still the most cost-effective methods to invasive species management, the region’s scientists and managers have made strides to further combat these two species. Materials are available here.

Honorary cosponsors of this briefing were Senate Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs Senator Mark Kirk and Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senate Vice-Chairs Senator Rob Portman and Senator Amy Klobuchar, House Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs Congresswoman Miller, Congresswoman Kaptur, Congressman Duffy, and Congresswoman Slaughter.