Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel Forum

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May 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 May 13, 2014 at 11:28 am

Updates from NYS:

1st ANNUAL IS AWARENESS WEEK:
NY will have its first annual ISAW. NY IS Council agencies, NY IS Advisory Committee, and NY’s PRISMs and other partners will be hosting a number of events that will be posted on NY’s IS Clearinghouse website (http://www.nyis.info/)

PROGRAM IMPLEMENTION:
NYS has all contracts in place to deliver 8 landscape level all taxa Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management, NYS statewide education and outreach framework, NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse (http://www.nyis.info/), NY IS Research Institute, and NY IS Database aka iMapInvasives (http://www.nyimapinvasives.org/), species assessments, and select special projects in place.

REGULATORY EFFORTS: Links to recently proposed or adopted regulations described below are here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html

Boat Launch AIS Spread Prevention: NYS Dept Env Conservation (DEC) proposed Invasive Species Regulations that would prohibit launch or retrieval of boats with visible plants or animals and requires draining bilges, ballast tanks, bait and fish wells, gear etc at all DEC-owned launches and water bodies. DEC is working on summary of comments and finalizing regs.

Lists of Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species: DEC proposed regulations including lists of prohibited and regulated invasive species and is working on a summary of comments and finalizing regulations.

Eurasian Boar Regulations – regulations are final. Prohibit possession, sale, introduction etc of Eurasian boar.

FUNDING:
NY’s Enacted Budget for State Fiscal Year 2014-15 has $4.7M in Environmental Protection Funds to support Invasive Species program implementation and to include $550K for Lake George and $1M for eradication and grants.

Federal funding through GL Restoration Initiative is supporting many boat stewards in the Great Lakes watershed from the Western Adks to E. Lake Ontario and Lk Erie.

OTHER EFFORTS/COORDINATION:

DEC Invasive Species Coordination Unit (ISCU) participated in the recent Great Lakes (GL) Ballast Water Collaborative and will be representing NY on the GL Commission Ballast Water Task Force.

ISCU staff continues to participate in Hydrilla task forces for Cayuga Lk, Erie Canal at Tonawanda, Croton River and in a RR exercise for the Adks
ISCU staff developed GL Restoration Initiative US FWS ANS project proposals for FY 2014

ISCU staff are participating in the development of an updated NYS ANS Plan, plan is expected to be published for public review and comment summer 2014.

NY IS Council and NY IS Advisory Committee and ISCU are working with Cornell University to design and administer a public poll to determine the level of invasive species awareness to help identify gaps and to determine needs for education and outreach.

ISCU staff participated in planning and implementation of RISM boot camp held in mid-February, attended by all eight PRISMs, to help new PRISM coordinators learn the ropes.

ISCU staff is participating in development of GL RR Plan, under WI lead
DEC staff reviewed GL-Mississippi R Interbasin Studay final report and attended public meeting in Buffalo

ISCU staff is responsible for all-taxa program coordination, collaboration and support of the NY IS Council and NY IS Advisory Committee, yet remains at 2 biologists, as it has for 3-1/2 years (down from 4; yet recommended to be 6 – 8).

Comment from Cynthia Boettner on May 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Connecticut River Watershed (VT, NH, MA, CT)
In 2013, the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge completed its thirteenth year of stopping the spread of water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. The refuge engages youth crews and volunteers to handpull water chestnut in all of the 25 water bodies known to have it in the MA portions of the watershed and assists CT DEEP in CT. In 2014, due to Federal budget constraints and a reduced staff, we are forced to prioritize sites for control. We will be reaching out to state and municipal entities to notify them that some sites are not scheduled for control this year and we hope that partners will step forward to fill the gaps. Also, to better protect the health and safety of our volunteers, we are compiling information about how to safely work in areas with possible cyanobacteria and welcome NEANS members with expertise or knowledge in this arena to provide suggestions (please send to cynthia_boettner@fws.gov).
From 2012 to the present, partners in the Connecticut River watershed have been working under a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. One activity is to strategize better early detection and rapid response to new plant invaders. The main focus is terrestrial plant species, but some aquatics are also included. With input from state partners, the New England Wild Flower Society developed a draft ED species list for two regions of the watershed, southern (MA and CT) and central (southern NH and VT). Workshops and webinars (recorded) were held to teach people how to identify and report these new invaders to iMapInvasives (VT) and EDDMapS/IPANE (MA, CT, NH), the two online databases that accept this kind of data. By hosting webinars from Strike Teams in other parts of the country, we are assessing how Strike Teams may be used to address new invaders in the watershed.
Also under the grant, a plan was drafted to help prioritize areas of the watershed where invasive plant prevention and control would be of most ecological value. These areas were derived from regional and state GIS data layers. The report is currently in draft form.
For more information about any of these activities, please contact Cynthia Boettner at Cynthia_Boettner@fws.gov.

Comment from Karen Hahnel, ME on May 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Maine DEP Updates:
Infestations:
No new Maine water bodies were found to be infested with invasive aquatic plants during 2013. One lake was removed from Maine’s list of infested waterbodies. Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) was discovered by a summer visitor (and TVA biologist) in 2008. After an integrated management program and surveying upstream and downstream of the infestation, no Eurasian water milfoil was found in the lake during the summers of 2010 through 2013, prompting DEP biologists to remove the lake from the state’s infested list.

The current brochure listing known infestations in Maine can be seen here: http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/invasives/invasivesmap.pdf. A print run of 80,000 brochures will be distributed to boaters by courtesy boat inspectors and agents selling watercraft registration.

Courtesy Boat Inspections:
Maine Courtesy boat inspections (CBI) in 2013 topped the 80,000 mark for the second consecutive year, including a number of “saves” where invasive plants were removed from boats before launching in non-infested waterbodies. A summary of the 2013 CBI program can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/invasives/inspect.html.

Cost Share Grants:
2014 Cost Share Grant awards for courtesy boat inspections and invasive plant control were finalized at the end of April. A total of $105,000 was granted to 48 organizations through a competitive process to conduct courtesy boat inspections. An additional $74,500 was allocated by Maine DEP to 14 lake associations for courtesy boat inspections at 21 boat launch sites on infested lakes with the objective of reducing risk of spread from Maine’s infested waters.

In addition, Maine DEP awarded $107,928 to 19 lake associations to conduct manual invasive aquatic plant control efforts. An additional round of grant funding for plant removal projects will occur in May due to increased funding from an April 2014 statutory change (see “Legislative activity”). More about Maine DEP’s Cost Share Grants can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/grants/invasive/index.html

Invasive Plant Patrols (IPP):
Maine DEP contractor Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) reports 18 IPP training sessions throughout Maine with 409 individuals attending one or more training events during the 2013 season. That totals nearly 3500 individuals who have now been trained through VLMP’s IPP program. Seventy-four trainees met certification requirements in 2013, bringing the number of certified plant patrollers in Maine to 559. The emphasis on training and supporting IPP team efforts continues, and the number of active teams in the state is fast approaching 100. Thirty six lake association, stewardship organizations and other lake–oriented groups participated in 2013. More information about VLMP’s IPP and other activities can be found here: http://www.mainevlmp.org/.

Legislative activity:
In April 2014 the 126th Maine Legislature passed a bill (LD 1626) that changes the distribution of Maine’s dedicated revenue for preventing and managing invasive aquatic species. The impetus of the bill was to provide more funding to lake groups battling established infestations of invasive aquatic plants.

The previous revenue distribution of 60% to Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) and 40% to Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) changed to 80% DEP and 20% DIFW when LD 1626 became law on April 29, 2014. The bill requires that MDEP use 20% of its invasive species fund for “eradication activities.” This means that additional grant funds will be available for plant removal projects in 2014 and beyond. The original bill, amendments and final bill can be seen here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=1626&PID=1456&snum=126

Comment from Ann Bove, VT on May 9, 2014 at 8:23 am

Updates from Vermont can be found at the following link:
http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/waterq/lakes/docs/ans/lp_aisprogramupdate2013.pdf

Comment from Nancy Murray, CT on May 6, 2014 at 11:45 am

CT DEEP will be using the 2014 AIS funds to fund a Boating Education Assistant position. This position will educate anglers and boaters at key boat launches. The CT DEEP Boating Program also has an “Invasive Investigator Program” that trains volunteers to inspect boats entering and leaving State boat launches.

We will be uploading the HACCP plans onto the DEEP and or on the Sea Grant web site. Three plans were completed and include: 1.Suction Harvesting;
2. Mechanical Harvesting and a Genaric HACCP plan for research.

Comment from Amy Smagula on May 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm

New Hampshire Updates:

Prevention: The New Hampshire Lake Host Program is looking to expand it’s network of volunteers and staffed public access sites this year. DES awarded a $230,000 grant to the New Hampshire Lakes Association to run the program for the 2014 season. DES also provided a grant of about $11,000 to the New Hampshire Rivers Council, to coordinate the River Runners Program, to educate river stewards and enthusiasts about invasive species in river systems, including prevention, early detection and reporting of new infestations. They will be coordinating a series of workshops around the state in the spring and summer.

Quality Assurance Project Plan: The DES Exotic Species Program was tasked with developing a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for all the field and laboratory work associated with the program. The document was drafted over the winter and submitted to EPA for review in February. EPA had no edits, and the QAPP has been finailzed and adopted. I did not find any other state invasives programs operating under a QAPP at this time, so should you be tasked with putting one together do let me know…I”m glad to share the template.

Management: DES will be coordinating management efforts on 42 waterbodies in 2014, each having been awarded a 40% cost match grant for the selected control practices (which include physical, mechanical and/or chemical controls). Long-Term Management Plans have been developed or updated for just about all of these.

Funding: DES is tracking a bill that seeks to add $2 per boat registration in NH to increase revenues specifically marked for control of invasive aquatic species. If passed, the bill should yield an additional $180,000 for control practices. The bill passed the house and has a couple of final steps in the Senate before we know if it will become reality.

Please contact Amy Smagula at Amy.Smagula@des.nh.gov with any questions on the above information.

Comment from Michele L Tremblay on May 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm

The New Hampshire Rivers Council has just received an award from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services through the Exotic Species Prevention Grant Program to enhance River Runners.

Since 2009, the New Hampshire Rivers Council River Runners have been the early detection network for Didymo, Eurasian Milfoil, and other invasives species in our rivers and streams. Training is fun and free and monitoring is easy—just be observant when paddling, swimming, and fishing in your favorite river and then report what you find. You’ll meet new friends and learn valuable identification skills.

To learn more and to register, please visit http://nhrivers.org/river-runners/

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