Aquatic Invasive Species
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that cause harm to the environment, the economy, and human or animal health.
Preventing the spread of AIS is important because once introduced, these species disrupt ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, and cost communities huge amounts of time, money, resources, and lost revenue.
Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Mock Exercise: Responding to Hydrilla in the Lake Erie Watershed
Pennsylvania Sea Grant hosted a training designed for professionals working with aquatic invasive species. Resource managers and biologists from federal and state agencies and organizations throughout Pennsylvania and New York gathered in Erie PA on November 16, 2017 to participate in a mock rapid response exercise designed to familiarize aquatic invasive species professionals with the fundamentals of the rapid response process in Pennsylvania.
The exercise was centered around a mock scenario in which the invasive plant, Hydrilla verticillata was introduced into the Lake Erie Watershed. Participants were asked to respond to this scenario as though the infestation had actually occurred, using the plan to get through each step and developing an action plan to address the Hydrilla infestation. Discussions at each step helped address existing gaps and challenges in the plan and identify ways to streamline the rapid response process in Pennsylvania. Outcomes included a list of action items for updating the rapid response plan, as well as a list of discussion points to take the Governor’s Invasive Species Council of Pennsylvania for further discussion. An after-action report summarizing the exercise in more detail will be available soon.
Additional training sessions and webinars will be available in the coming months. Contact Sara Stahlman for details.