A Rapid Response Fund for Aquatic Invasive Species
Financial resources available for quick containment or eradication of newly detected species

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Aquatic invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

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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, Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) serves as a failsafe when prevention measures are ineffective or unavailable.

A Service employee holds an invasive snakehead.

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 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s infrastructure and economic competitiveness. We were directly appropriated $455 million over five years in BIL funds for programs related to the President’s America the Beautiful initiative.

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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 America the Beautiful Initiative.

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 a structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

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and process for operation of the fund.

On November 15, 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. 


Read the full Notice of Funding Opportunity. 

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.

Additional details outlining the structure and process for operation of the fund can be found in The Model Process: Rapid Response Fund for Aquatic Invasive Species.

Story Tags

Aquatic animals
Freshwater fish
Invasive species