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Great Lakes Aquatic Nuisance Species Control Funding


For Immediate Release                   Contact: Pam Thiel - 608/783-8431 
October 5, 1998                               Email: Pam_Thiel@mail.fws.gov
                                        Contact:  Chuck Traxler - 612/712-5313
                                             Email: Charles_Traxler@mail.fws.gov
                    FOUR MIDWEST STATES AND 
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 Commission.
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 
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 agencies.  
The Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region also includes the states on 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
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