Objectives identified by the Invasive Species Leadership Team
Two initial objectives identified by the ISLT are: (1) to establish a network for the exchange and sharing of information on invasive species challenges, action being taken by others, lessons learned and best management practices, and (2) to develop and provide strategic recommendations on a range of invasive species issues to USACE leadership. These objectives have been developed to address the following concerns:
- Lack of policy, strategic guidance, and coordinated management effort
- Lack of methodology to document existing and new invasive species problems
- Lack of regionally or nationally accessible information
- Lack of systematic coordination and participation with the efforts of others at local, regional and national levels
- Lack of clarity with regard to how invasive species considerations should be incorporated in the issuance of Corps regulatory permits
Invasive Species Leadership Team
The Invasive Species Leadership Team (ISLT) has been the Corps of Engineers’ go-to team for invasive species expertise. The members and liaisons of the ISLT represent the Corps of Engineers on interagency committees, promote Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) research programs, and actively contribute to the Invasive Species Management Community of Practice. Our success is measured by our ability to work together, blending policy and science with action to respond to threats to our nation’s water resources. When the Corps of Engineers asks, we respond: “We are your team”.
- Providing recommendations to HQ staff on fulfilling agency duties under EOs 13112 and 13751.
- Providing strategic direction to research programs that address invasive species including the Aquatic Plant Control Research Program and the Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program
- Representing USACE on regional invasive species councils
- Coordinating and collaborating on regional invasive species councils, across Federal agencies, and with nonfederal sponsors
- Developing and implementing cost effective strategies to address invasive species problems that affect USACE water resource management missions
- Coordinating team initiatives with the Environmental (and other relevant) CoPs
- Coordinating within the MSC and ensuring that plans employ an IPM approach to invasive species and pest management.
- Coordinating annual cost information for USACE and to be provided to the National Invasive Species Council (via ERDC)
ERDC serves as the research lead for the Invasive Species Program. It has representatives on the ISLT to support the team and USACE’ decisions concerning invasive species. ERDC shares information concerning their activities and solicits input for future research and development work units. The components of ERDC’s Invasive Species Program include the Aquatic Plant Control Research Program (APCRP) and the Aquatic Plant Control Program also referred to as the “Control” program. ERDC also oversees the Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program (ANSRP). The ANSRP was an expansion of the Zebra Mussel Research Program (ZMRP) that provides information not only on zebra mussels, but on all aquatic nuisance species fauna. The main objective of the ANSRP is to conduct interdisciplinary research on the prevention, control, and management of aquatic nuisance species that impact USACE projects and public facilities. The ISLT provides research recommendations to the ANSRP through the Civil Works R&D Statements of Need request process found at https://gateway.erdc.dren.mil/son/index.cfm.
- Executive Order 13112 Invasive Species. This executive order requires federal agencies including the USACE to meet the National Invasive Species Management Plan (NISMP) goals.
- Executive Oder 13751 Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species. This order amends Executive Order 13112 and directs actions to continue coordinated Federal prevention and control efforts related to invasive species.
- John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019. This act calls for a substantive annual net reduction of invasive species populations or infested acreage on land or water managed by the federal agency.
- USACE Invasive Species Policy Memorandum dated 2 June 2009. This policy memorandum requires all USACE Civil Works projects and programs to address invasive species in accordance with the NISMP.
- EP and ER 1130-2-540. Environmental Stewardship Operations and Maintenance Guidance and Procedures
Strategic Vision – policy development for the strategic vision
The ISLT is currently developing a draft USACE Invasive Species Management Policy. The development of this policy is the initial step in developing national and regional strategic guidance for the management and where possible, prevention, of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species currently present on Corps owned and operated land and/or projects.