NECIS brownbag lunch: New Studies and Policy Solutions to Invasive Species Threats

All are invited —– The National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species presents a brownbag lunch:

 

New Studies and Policy Solutions to Invasive Species Threats

  • Fish Invasions into the Great Lakes
  • Forest Pests
  • Wildlife Diseases

 

When? Wednesday, March 2, 12:00 to 1:15

Where? Defenders of Wildlife, 1st floor conf. room, 1101 17th Ave NW, Washington, between L and M streets (Farragut North Metro).  Tel: 202.682.9400

Lunch? BYO (many sandwich shops nearby, such as City Deli and Potbelly’s further south on 17th)

Why? Key new studies have come out in recent months on U.S. invasive species crises.  Experienced policy advocates from NECIS and other speakers will present on those studies and how to move national policy on three vital issues:  fish invasions into the Great Lakes, forest pests and wildlife diseases.

Moderator: Peter Jenkins, Biopolicy Consulting.  Each session will be 20 minutes – 15 for presentation and 5 for Q&A  – sessions end by 1:15 – room is available until 1:30 for continuing discussions.

 

****Session 1.  Separating the Connections between the Great Lakes and Mississippi Basins. A huge interstate battle – including convoluted U.S. Supreme Court and lower court litigation – has erupted over whether and how the State of Illinois and the Federal government should take action to stop the invasive Asian carp, which are already damaging waters of the Mississippi River Basin, from threatening the Great Lakes. Both emergency measures and permanent solutions are being pursued to address artificial connections that allow invasive aquatic species to move freely between these two nationally and internationally significant watersheds.

Speakers: David Ullrich, Executive Director of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, presents on a new study to identify options by January, 2012, for separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins at the Chicago Area Waterway System to block invasive species, and at the same time improving transportation, water quality and flood control; and Jennifer Nalbone, Director of Navigation and Invasive Species for Great Lakes United, describes a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study to prevent species movement across watershed connections.

****Session 2: New Studies Show Value of Preventing Introductions and Spread of Agricultural and Forest Pests. In recent years, an average of 30 new plant pests have been detected annually –  approximately 1 every 12 days.  Institutions are overwhelmed: USDA APHIS is now trying to contain 34 pests – up from 8 pests in 1996.  State and university pest specialists are also struggling.  One subset of these pests – those that kill mature trees – are costing governments tens of millions of dollars and threaten to cost tens of billions of dollars if they are not contained. Examples include the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle and sudden oak death.  A series of new coordinated studies reveals the pathways by which these pests entered the country and some of their impacts.
Speaker: Dr. Faith Campbell, Senior Policy Representative, The Nature Conservancy, summarizes these findings and suggests policy opportunities to contain these pests and stop further introductions.

 

****Session 3: New GAO report: Live Animal Imports: Agencies Need Better Collaboration to Reduce the Risk of Animal-Related Diseases. The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently completed a comprehensive study on the issue of animal diseases in the United States, Live Animal Imports: Agencies Need Better Collaboration to Reduce the Risk of Animal-Related Diseases. The report covers key wildlife threats that can be vectored by animal imports, such as chytrid fungus (Bd) in amphibians, whitenose syndrome in bats and monkeypox virus in African rodents, and it highlight authority gaps and agency coordination needed to block new wildlife disease outbreaks – which in some cases also threaten humans.
Speakers:
GAO report author (invited) and Peter Jenkins, Biopolicy Consulting.   Jenkins will also discuss how this report relates to possible U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulatory action on keeping the deadly chytrid fungus (Bd) from being imported and spread interstate in the live amphibian trade, in response to a 2009 petition by Defenders of Wildlife.

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The National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species (www.necis.net ) is an NGO network dedicated to strengthening our nation’s prevention and management policies.

For information contact: Peter Jenkins, 301.500.4383 , jenkinsbiopolicy@gmail.com

Thanks to National Invasive Species Awareness Week for featuring this NECIS event.

See www.nisaw.org for information on other NISAW events.