Aquatic Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) serves as a failsafe when prevention measures are ineffective or unavailable.can lead to the extinction of native plants and animals, permanently alter habitats, and imperil public health. Aquaculture, tourism, recreation, shipping, and hydropower facilities may also be adversely impacted by biological invasion. Effective and coordinated approaches are necessary to manage aquatic invaders and protect our Nation’s waters. Although prevention is the most effective approach to eliminate or reduce the threat of aquatic invasive species,
Recognizing the importance of timely action, the Department of the Interior is working with partners to identify, enhance, and collaborate on EDRR activities, including the establishment of a Rapid Response Fund for aquatic invasive species. This fund is intended make financial resources available to assess and support response actions for quick containment or eradication of newly detected species, thus avoiding costly long-term and wide-spread control efforts. This year, as part of the America the Beautiful Initiative.authorization for ecosystem restoration, the Department invested $1 million to establish a pilot Rapid Response Fund for Aquatic Invasive Species with an additional $1 million envisioned each year 2024 through 2026 as part of advancing a National EDRR Framework. Investments in EDRR, including a Rapid Response Fund, help to meet conservation goals set through the
The Rapid Response Fund will be administered within the existing authorities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fish and Aquatic Conservation program and coordinated through the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force. Co-chaired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the ANS Task Force consists of federal agency representatives and ex-officio representatives that work in conjunction with six regional panels and issue-specific subcommittees to coordinate efforts related to aquatic invasive species across the Nation. Accordingly, the ANS Task Force is well positioned to coordinate and successfully operate a response rapid fund. In July 2023, the ANS Task Force approved The Model Process: Rapid Response Fund for Aquatic Invasive Species that outlines aand process for operation of the fund.
On August 17, 2023, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on behalf of the ANSTF, posted a Notice of Funding Opportunity to request proposals that support the rapid response to a new species introduction within freshwater, estuarine, or marine waters of the United States, including the U.S. territories.
If you are interested in this competitive funding opportunity and would like to learn more about it, visit the Frequently Asked Questions about the Rapid Response Fund page on the ANS Task Force site.