Graham Sustainability Institute

Informing policy and practice for AIS cases in the Great Lakes using lessons learned from the sea lamprey control story

The Laurentian Great Lakes are vulnerable to aquatic invasive species (AIS) which can affect native species by out-competing them for food and destroy their habitat. Historically AIS has also impacted commercial and recreational activities in the region causing significant monetary costs. Now, more than ever, officials need efficient and effective ways to protect this valuable freshwater resource from AIS destruction. To date, approaches to managing invasive species have most often been reactive, rather than proactive, and implemented inconsistently across jurisdictions.

Our research team interviewed experts, analyzed key documents, and compared cases across several invasive species, to generate recommendations for more effective AIS prevention and management policies in the Great Lakes region.

Our analysis produced four themes that highlighted the importance of:

  1. Motivation
  2. Science
  3. Communications
  4. Resources

We generated a refined list of recommendations within these themes that are detailed in the project report.

Project Team Members

  • Jennifer Read, Water Center, Graham Sustainability Institute
  • Cory Brant, Water Center, Graham Sustainability Institute
  • Marc Gaden, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
  • Ross Shaw, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Contact: Jennifer Read,

Advisory Committee

We are grateful for the advice and support of a project advisory committee that included invasive species coordinators and managers from a wide range of federal, tribal, private, academic, state, and provincial agencies around the Great Lakes basin. The committee provided valuable input to the study from the beginning to insure our results are usable by the policy community.

  • Seth Herbst, Michigan Department of Natural Resources;
  • Sarah LeSage, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality;
  • Kevin Irons, Illinois Department of Natural Resources;
  • Eric Fischer, Indiana Department of Natural Resources;
  • Justine Hasz, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources;
  • Gavin Christie, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada;
  • Kelly Pennington, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources;
  • Francine MacDonald, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources;
  • John Navarro, Ohio Department of Natural Resources;
  • Catherine McGlynn, New York Department of Environmental Conservation;
  • Seth Moore, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa;
  • Mike Hoff, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, retired;
  • Tom Gorenflo, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority;
  • Dave Adams, New York Department of Environmental Conservation;
  • Steve Hewett, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources;
  • Leon Carl, United States Geological Survey; and
  • Isabelle Desjardins, Ministères des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Québec.