Prevention is the first line of defense against invasive species and is a primary focus of NISC. Often the most cost-effective approach to combating invasive species is to keep them from establishing in the first place.

Prevention efforts must have the coordinated support of federal agencies as well as states, tribes, local entities, industry and other interested parties (See Current Prevention Committee members.) Regulatory and non-regulatory actions such as management plans, codes of conduct and education and outreach efforts all are important tools that can be applied within a comprehensive strategy to prevent the establishment of invasive species.

Consideration of both specific species and the total load involved in pathway/vector risk is required (see Major Pathways Ranking Guide.)

A risk-based approach is mandated by Executive Order 13112 and requires consideration of the likelihood an invasive species will establish and spread as well as the degree of harm it could cause. To accomplish the prevention objectives in the National Management Plan, NISC has coordinated with the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) in developing the Joint Prevention Committee.