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.

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. See the Advisory Committee members linked to the menu at left.

Check out the full project report and appendices linked to the menu on the left.

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,