The Mid-Atlantic Regional Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species: Facilitating Action-oriented Approaches to Aquatic Invasive Species Management

In April 2005 a newly formed panel of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) held its first meeting. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Panel on aquatic invasive species (MARP) is authorized under Section 1203 of the Non-Indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Protection and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA). The MARP consists of individuals representing Federal and state agencies, regional and academic entities, non-profit environmental groups, and commercial interests from Delaware, District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Challenges and exciting opportunities for management of aquatic invasive species are framing an action-oriented agenda for this newly-formed panel. The MARP's mission is to “assist state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders in developing and implementing strategic, coordinated, action-oriented approaches to prevention and control of aquatic invasive species in the Mid-Atlantic region.” As one of six ANSTF regional panels, the MARP looks to connect national, state, and local interest in aquatic invasive species issues. The MARP meets on a semi-annual basis to develop and track progress of annual work plans. Three working groups, policy, education and outreach, and science and management, are tasked with implementing actions in the work plans. A priority of these groups is to improve cooperation, coordination and communication on invasive species issues across the region. These and other priorities will be discussed as well as strategies for strengthening regional efforts to address aquatic invasive species management.

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