Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are recognized as one of the most significant threats to the ecological and economic health of the Great Lakes region. More than 180 non-native species are established the lakes, many of which are invasive and causing harm. The Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species coordinates education, research, management and policy efforts to prevent new AIS from entering the basin and to control and mitigate those AIS populations already established. The Great Lakes Panel is one of six regional panels that report to the federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, which coordinates AIS efforts on a federal level. The Great Lakes Commission serves as administrator and provides staff support to the Great Lakes Panel.
The Panel is legislatively mandated to identify aquatic invasive species priorities for the Great Lakes region; assist and make recommendations to the federal Task Force; coordinate program activities in the region; and advise public and private interests on prevention and control efforts. LCA is a Panel member.