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USFWS funds ANS management plans

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region

For Immediate Release
October 5, 1998
EA 98-72

Contact: Pam Thiel - 608/783-8431
Email: Pam_Thiel@mail.fws.gov
Contact:  Chuck Traxler - 612/713-5313
Email: Charles_Traxler@mail.fws.gov


Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin
Management Plans Get U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service Federal Cost-Share Funding

Four Midwest states and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and
Wildlife Commission have received funding from the
Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service to implement approved aquatic nuisance
species management plans.  State and tribal agencies from
Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin received a
combined total of $133,500.

Funding was provided for implementation of three plans
approved by the intergovernmental Aquatic Nuisance
Species Task Force the Ohio and Michigan state plans
and the St. Croix River Basin interstate plan.  The St.
Croix River Basin plan is the first interstate plan to be
funded and represents the work of a multi-agency
interstate and tribal task force.  Agencies to receive
funding include the Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin
Departments of Natural Resources, Office of the
Great Lakes Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality, and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife

Nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species, such as the
zebra mussel, ruffe, and round goby, are not native to an
area and cause, or have the potential to cause, significant
damage to native fishes, fish communities and aquatic
habitat.  At least 4,000 nonindigenous plants and 2,300
nonindigenous animals are now established in the United
States.  Biologists consider nonindigenous species
invasions second only to habitat destruction as a cause of
species decline and endangerment.

Nonindigenous species have a variety of impacts on
human activities and the environment.  Some choke
waterways used for navigation and recreation while others
clog intake pipes.  Billions of dollars will be spent to
control these invaders in the Great Lakes and Midwest in
the next 10 years.  Nationally, the cost of nonindigenous
species prevention and damage control is estimated
to exceed $120 billion.

+The federal provision allowing states with management
plans to receiving funding was very beneficial.  It allowed
us to develop a 'road map' on how we wanted to address
the many issues involved in aquatic nuisance species
control,' said Environmental Specialist Mark Coscarelli of
the Office of Great Lakes, Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality.  +The program also allowed us to
get visibility on the subject, which we had been struggling
with in the past.  Based upon our completed plan and the
increased visibility, the State of Michigan authorized an
additional $100,000 to assist in the implementation of our
management plan.  The promise of federal funding from
the Service really began the entire process.'

+This program has really been a model of success for
grant programs,' said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Great
Lakes-Big Rivers Regional Director William Hartwig.
+We are proud that agencies within the region have
stepped forward to address the problem of aquatic
nuisance species.  The agencies all developed excellent
plans which will certainly have a positive affect on the
environmental quality of the entire region.'

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal
agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and
enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the
continuing benefit of the American people.  The Service
manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System comprising more than 500 national wildlife
refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special
management areas. It also operates 66 national fish
hatcheries and 78 ecological services field stations.

The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the
Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird
populations, restores nationally significant fisheries,
conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands,
and helps foreign governments with their conservation
efforts.  It also oversees the Federal Aid program that
distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes
on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife

The Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region also includes the
states of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.  To find
out more about programs and activities of the Service in
the Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region, please visit us on the
World Wide Web at  http://www.fws.gov/r3pao