FEBRUARY 22, 2012

National task force approves Arizona’s aquatic invasive species management plan

az ten most unwanted posterPHOENIX – Arizona’s Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan has been approved by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF), making it eligible for federal funding to assist with future implementation efforts concerning invasive plants and animals in our state's waterways.

The plan was developed by multiple stakeholders as part of the efforts of the Arizona Invasive Species Advisory Council, which is under the joint leadership of the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Gov. Jan Brewer signed this comprehensive strategic plan in October 2011. The plan was then forwarded to the Task Force in November for eventual federal program approval.

Arizona’s plan describes detection and monitoring efforts of recognized aquatic invasive species (such as quagga mussels), current prevention efforts to stop their introduction and spread, and control efforts to reduce their overall impacts to Arizona's environment and economy and any harm to human health.

Approval by the Task Force makes Arizona’s plan eligible for federal grant funding that would help finance implementation of various provisions of the plan. Funding is procured through a grant process administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Aquatic invasive species are of great concern because of their potential to negatively impact our state’s ecosystems, industry and economy. Once established, many invasive species prove exceptionally difficult to manage, eradicate, or control.

Main pathways for introduction of invasive species into Arizona waters include reservoir/canal connections, watercraft movement, and other human-related, water-based recreational activities.

For more information on the Arizona Game and Fish Department's aquatic invasive species program and to view Arizona’s plan, visit www.azgfd.gov/ais.