Why it Matters: The Conservancy's work with Aquatic Invasive Species matters because the establishment of more than an estimated 180 non-native aquatic species in the Great Lakes negatively impacts human health and poses serious ecological and economic threats.
 
Anderson Economic Group (AED), commissioned by The Nature Conservancy to research and analyze the direct cost of invasive species, discovered that governments, private industry and homeowners spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to address the negative impacts that these species impose on the Great Lakes basin.
The brunt of these out-of-pocket costs are born by the sport and commercial fishing industry, power generation companies, industrial facilities, shipping-related businesses, recreation businesses and public water supply facilities. However, the costs trickle down throughout society and manifest themselves in higher water and energy bills as well as food costs.
 
Many more species threaten to invade the Great Lakes and add to the economic and ecological costs, negatively impacting human health. The aquatic invasive species threat in the Great Lakes can be most effectively addressed through coordinated policies and management across all relevant state, provincial, and federal jurisdictions.
 
Strategies:
• Prevent the unintentional introduction of AIS to the region by working with industry, the scientific community, as well as state and provincial agencies to identify pragmatic and protective management solutions.
•Develop new surveillance methods and tools for early detection of aquatic invasive species, design a comprehensive monitoring strategy, and advise public agencies on rapid response efforts.
•Create cost effective control and eradication tools, prove their effectiveness to decision makers, and secure adequate funding to sustain AIS management actions.
 
Relevant Documents: