STATE AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES PLAN APPROVED

Release Date: 04/17/2006

Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has approved the State Management Plan for Aquatic Invasive Species in Louisiana.  The plan was developed by members of the Louisiana Non-Indigenous Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Task Force, representing both state and federal agencies as well as universities and industry. 


The management plan focuses on exotic aquatic invasive species (AIS) and aquatic pathways by which new AIS can enter the state and become established.


"Our goal is to prevent and control the introduction of new nonindigenous species, control the spread and impact of existing invasive species and eradicate locally established invasive species wherever possible," said Scott Longman, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist and chairman of the Louisiana Aquatic Invasive Species Council and Task Force.


AIS problems in the state are well documented and pose a threat to Louisiana native plants and animals.  Species such as hydrilla in Henderson Lake, St. Martin Parish, water hyacinth in the Atchafalaya Basin, Asian carp, and zebra mussels in the Mississippi River are among the better-known AIS that have impacted Louisiana waterways and cost millions of dollars to address.


The state plan has been forwarded to the national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force for review.  Once approved, the state would then qualify for additional federal funding opportunities to implement aspects of the management plan.  Funding for the plan's development was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency-Gulf of Mexico Program, the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Aquatic Invasive Species Program.


Participants in development of the state's management plan included: the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, Louisiana Marine & Motorcycle Trade Association, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, the University of New Orleans, Waterman Steamship Corporation, Center for Bioenvironmental Research, Board of Commissioners Port of New Orleans, Louisiana Landowners Association, the LSU AgCenter, the U.S. Geological Survey, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association, the Louisiana Farmer's Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Louisiana Chemical Association, the University of Louisiana - Lafayette, the Office of the Governor, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, Entergy Corporation, Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, La. State Representative Wilfred Pierre and La. State Senator Gerald Theunissen.


For more information on the aquatic invasive species in the state, visit http://is.cbr.tulane.edu


For more information, contact Scott Longman at 225-765-2339 or slongman@wlf.louisiana.gov.
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