Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel Forum

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December 2014 meeting roundtable updates

It’s never too early to share your roundtable updates with your peers. Please post your updates here and never hesitate to contact me if I may provide any assistance with your information sharing on this forum.

Thank you,

Michele L. Tremblay

Comments

Comment from Leslie Surprenant on December 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm

DEC adopted regulations in early June of this year requiring recreational boaters to remove all visible plants and animals from their boats, trailers and associated equipment and to drain all water from water-holding compartments before launching in or leaving a DEC-owned water. The regulations may be viewed online here:
http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html#Part59Sect594Part190Sect19024p

The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation adopted similar, complementary regulations in November, 2014. The text of the final rule may be viewed online here:
http://docs.dos.ny.gov/info/register/2014/nov12/pdf/rulemaking.pdf

The Governor signed two AIS-related laws in September. One requires operators of boats and individuals deploying floating docks into a public water body or its inlet or outlet to take “reasonable precautions such as removal of any visible plant or animal matter, washing, draining, or drying” and requires DEC to develop regulations that prescribe acceptable “reasonable precautions.” DEC is currently working with stakeholders as it crafts the draft regulations. It is expected the final regulations will be adopted in September, 2015. Over the past several years, several local governments have adopted their own laws, creating a regulatory “patchwork”. While the new law does not supercede local laws, adoption of statewide regulations will help communities and boaters by providing one set of regulations that can be applied statewide.

The second law directs DEC to develop a universal AIS spread-prevention warning sign and to make this sign available online to all owners of public boat launches. The law requires that owners of all such launches, within one year of enactment (i.e. by 9/23/15), to “conspicuously post the universal sign of not less than eighteen inches by twenty-four inches.” DEC has designed and posted universal signage here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/85939.html

On October 29, DEC released its draft Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan and is accepting public comments through December 15. I encourage NEANS Panel to review and comment, if desired. Included in the more than 50 actions recommended in this strategic plan are:

· Expand the boat launch steward program statewide;
· Develop an AIS response framework to guide decision making when AIS are detected, and communicate the reasoning for the response selected;
· Implement an AIS public awareness campaign and evaluate its effectiveness in reaching target audiences;
· Expand the use of AIS disposal stations at waterway access sites;
· Establish regional “first responder” AIS teams to incorporate local expertise in planning and implementing appropriate AIS responses; and
· Identify and evaluate risks associated with pathways for AIS introduction and movement within New York

The plan is online here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/99053.html

I am still looking for information from other NEANS Panel states on their AIS programs, staffing, and budgets. Thanks to all who provided their states’ information (ME, RI, VT).

Lastly, if you want your boat steward program on the map being developed by NY’s IS Database (NYiMapInvasives), please respond to my emails sent last week and a few weeks prior.

Comment from Kevin R. Cute, Marine Resources Specialist on November 25, 2014 at 10:23 am

The following is excerpted from the RI Coastal Resource Management Council’s semi-annual report on its Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Project that investigates the impacts of AIS in the state’s coastal and marine environments:

The CRMC continued its volunteer-based AIS monitoring program established in 2009 to document the presence, distribution and abundance of AIS at floating docks at the following sites in Narragansett Bay:
• Save The Bay headquarters, Providence
• Allen Harbor Marina, North Kingstown
• Roger Williams University, Bristol
• Point Judith Marina, South Kingstown
• Fort Adams State Park, Newport
CRMC continued to hire an academic expert from the University of Rhode Island to provide training for volunteers interested in participating in field surveys. Training sessions were also continued to instruct volunteer monitors in scientific sampling methods and species identification through Coastweeks, an initiative that the CRMC participates in to educate the public about numerous aspects of coastal zone management. Field data continued to be collected at all five monitoring sites listed above from spring though fall by trained volunteers. The academic expert hired by CRMC continued to provide in-the-field QA/QC for the volunteers. CRMC staff also participated in field monitoring events in this capacity.

The grass shrimp survey initiated during FY10 has been continued. Interns and volunteers were trained to identify both the Oriental Grass shrimp Palaemon macrodactylus and the European Grass shrimp P. elegans. University students led by CRMC’s academic expert also participated in the grass shrimp survey this year and discovered the first known specimen of P. elegans to occur in Rhode Island. It was collected from a tide pool near Ocean Road in Newport.

The larval settlement plate survey established in 2011 has also been continued. A volunteer graduate student participated in and chose to write his major paper on the survey. His results provided evidence that AIS are outcompeting native species whose larvae settle on the collection devices used in the survey. The devices consist of a set of five PVC settlement plates attached to floating docks or fixed piers at each of seven sites located throughout Narragansett Bay. The plates provide a substratum for larval settlement and growth, which is monitored from the spring through the fall when the growing season ends. Three plates are collected and replaced monthly at each site and two plates remain in place throughout the monitoring period; voucher specimens and field data are collected, stored, and maintained for further analysis. In this way spawning events are continuously recorded for all species and peak community development data is obtained. The settlement plate study is intended to be continuously conducted at the following ten sites:
• Save The Bay headquarters, Providence
• Allen Harbor Marina, North Kingstown
• New England Boatworks, Middletown
• R/V Endeavor Dock, Narragansett
• Point Judith Marina, South Kingstown
• Fort Adams State Park, Newport
• Sakonnet Yacht Club, Little Compton

The Chinese Mitten crab survey has been continued for a second consecutive year. In partnership with Save The Bay, the CRMC conducted two plankton trawls in Little Narragansett Bay and the estuarine portion of the Pawcatuck River in search of Chinese Mitten crab larvae. Though no specimens have yet been found, the CRMC will continue monitoring for the larvae via plankton trawls.

Finally, CRMC followed up on the preliminary surveys of eelgrass beds conducted during 2013 and implemented the newest component of its AIS Monitoring Project, a SCUBA based survey of eelgrass beds to determine the impact of AIS on this critical habitat. The CRMC coordinated with the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Reserve by providing funding for a research intern and conducting a preliminary dive along a single 100 meter transect at the southern end of Prudence Island, located within the Research Reserve.. This was followed by a full three transect survey of the same eelgrass bed. Though no AIS were found within any of the thirty 1/16 meter square quadrats sampled, specimens of Bottryloides violaceous were collected along the transect line.

In summary, the AIS Monitoring Project includes the following tasks:
• floating dock survey
• grass shrimp survey
• settlement plate survey
• Chinese Mitten crab survey
• eelgrass bed survey

The CRMC continued to distribute t-shirts and hats with the Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Project logo to volunteers who participated in CRMC’s AIS field monitoring and training sessions.

Comment from Isabelle Desajrdins on November 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Hello Ms Bove

Here are few updates from the Wildlife Sector of the Ministère de la Forêt, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec:

– Last spring, we joined the Asian Carps Regional Coordinating Comittee (ACRCC) to fight against the invasion of asian carps in the St Lawrence river watershed.
– The Mutual Aid Agreement, to figth against aquatic invasive species, intiated at the Premiers and Governors’s summit of June 2013, as progress with our autorities. At this days, the Mutaul Aid Agreement has not yet been signed by the actual Quebec’s Prime minister.
– Two new AIS species are in process to be added to our already existing prohibited species list: the Stone moroko and the Yabby. This addition is in line with the committments undertaken during the 2013 Governor’s summit.
– For the second year, four Watershed protection organizations, have been mandated by the Wildlife Sector to conduct outreach activities during this summer. The outreach activities focued on the necessity to clean up boat and gear before entering a body of water to prevent AIS introduction. The activities where conducted mostly in anglers communities and fishing tournaments, and at busy boat launch.

Thank you!

Best regards

Isabelle Desjardins, Biologiste M. Sc.
Invasive exotic animal species coordinator
Biodiversity and Wildlfie health Directorate
General directorate on wildlfie and habitats expertise
Forest, Wildlife and Parks Ministry
880, Sainte-Foy road, 2nd floor
Québec (Québec), G1S 4X4
Phone : 418-627-8694 ext 7461
Fax : 418-646-6863
email: Isabelle.Desjardins@mffp.gouv.qc.ca

Comment from ann bove on November 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Updates for Vermont can be found at:
http://www.watershedmanagement.vt.gov/lakes/docs/ans/lp_aisprogramupdate2014.pdf

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