Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention
Preventing introductions of potentially harmful species is the most efficient way to reduce the threat of ANS, and is a primary focus of the ANS Task Force. Identifying high risk pathways of introduction and actions to interdict those pathways is integral to prevention. NISA clearly identifies ballast water as a pathway of unintentional introduction. Therefore, much of the activity of the ANS Task Force has conducting surveys of ballast discharge rates and practices, and ecological surveys of bays that are highly susceptible to ANS invasion.
Recreational water users are another pathway of unintentional introductions. The key to addressing this issue is increasing public awareness of aquatic nuisance species, their impacts, and what individuals can do to prevent their introduction and spread. To accomplish this, the ANS Task Force, in cooperation with partner organizations, has created three public education initiatives, the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers campaign, Habitattitude™, and the 100th Meridian Initiative,.
Monitoring and detection also play a crucial role in preventing new introductions form becoming established in U.S. waters, and the ANS Task Force has conducted several ecological surveys to establish base-line data and to document ANS and their impacts in a number of systems. Model early detection and rapid response plans have been developed by both The Great Lakes and Western Regional Panels, and states are encouraged to develop such plans as well.