NISC Member Departments and Agencies

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • USDA logo image
    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Of the NISC members, the USDA has the greatest amount of resources devoted to invasive species. Within the USDA, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), USDA Forest Service (FS), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service (CSREES), Farm Service Administration (FSA), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) have various roles in invasive species prevention, science, and management. APHIS is the primary USDA agency charged with preventing invasive species from entering the country.

    APHIS can prohibit, inspect treat, quarantine or require mitigation measures prior to allowing entry of plant species, plant pests, biological control organisms, animals, animal products and by-products, or their host commodities or conveyances. APHIS is involved with overseas control and eradication of some invasive pest species, and also regulates the importation/exportation of veterinary biological products intended to treat animal disease. ARS and CSREES conduct and support research concerning invasive species. FS manages invasive species on its 192 million acre national forest and grass lands system, provides assistance to State and private sector land owners, and conducts invasive species research. NRCS with FSA aids in invasive species efforts through their cost-share and conservation technical assistance programs. FAS provides invasive species technical assistance to foreign countries.

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  • U.S. Department of the Interior
  • U.S. Department of Interior logo image
    U.S. Department of the Interior

    DOI is the largest land owner and manager in the United States. Invasive species are an aspect of a large proportion of the Department's responsibilities for stewardship of public lands. The federal staff on NISC and the non-federal Invasive Species Advisory committee (ISAC) are housed and administered (respectively) by the Immediate Office of the Secretary of the Interior. Within DOI, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the National Park Service (NPS) all have various roles in the science and management of invasive species.

    BOE, BLM, FWS, and NPS are responsible for programs that control invasive species which infest water systems and lands that they manage. They also cooperate with and support efforts to control invasive species and the restoration of impacted areas. MMS supports research concerning invasive species introduced into the Gulf of Mexico, which can effect off shore oil and gas platforms. BIA supports tribal government efforts to control invasive species.

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  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of Commerce logo image
    U.S. Department of Commerce

    Under the Non-Indiginous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act (NANPCA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has join responsibility with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for control and management of invasive aquatic species. NOAA's Sea Grant program manages a competitive research grant program for all aspects of aquatic nuisance species issues, including the development of ballast water technology. NOAA's restoration Center within the National Marine Fisheries Service is engaged in restoration activities to restore coastal and estuarine habitats, to advance the science underlying habitat restoration, and to transfer restoration technology to the private and public sectors.

    NOAA is involved with several international conventions including IMO, CBD, CAFTS, and APEC as well as certain bilateral efforts. NOAA is one of the co-chairs of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF). ANSTF and its regional panels have representation from federal, provincial and non-governmental agencies within Canada, as well as representation from Mexico. NOAA has worked with the Canadian government on research of shared problems in order to avoid duplication of effort. Coordination efforts include research and monitoring on tunicates on the East Coast, and on green crab on the West Coast; as well as research on no-ballast-on-board (NOBOB) vessels in the Great Lakes. The cooperation is strong enough that Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans invited NOAA representation on their committee to establish research priorities.

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  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of Defense logo image
    U.S. Department of Defense

    DOD manages over 25 million acres of lands within military installations. DOD controls and manages invasive species in accordance with individual plans governing each installation or base. The goals of DOD's Invasive Species Management Program are prevention, control of invasive species on military installations, and restoration using native plants. The U.S. Army corps of Engineers(USACE) also has a number of control programs, and is authorized to implement a 50/50 Federal/local cost sharing arrangement with State and local governments for managing nuisance aquatic plants in waterways not under the control of USACE or other Federal agencies

    USACE also has a number of research programs focused on invasive species. DOD actively supports research, education, and policy development in such areas as ballast water and aquatic weed management, and military quarantine. DOD established and maintains a safe, effective, and environmentally sound integrated pest management program to prevent or control disease vectors and pests that may adversely impact military readiness or operations. The Armed Forces Pest Management Board ('AFPMB) coordinates DOD pest management programs and produces information primarily for troops overseas. Technical Guide 31, Contingency Retrograde Washdowns: Cleaning and Inspection Procedures, 1993, provides guidance for washdowns required for incoming ships, aircraft, and equipment returning from overseas. The AFPMB website has information and resources primarily related to insect vectors of disease.

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  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo image
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodeniticide Act (FIFRA, EPA has regulatory authority over certification of such compounds, and may place limits on the conditions under which they may be used. In addition, EPA is the lead agency for administration of the national Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which may require production of an environmental impact assessment document for invasive species control activities. EPA's research activities include evaluation of ecological indicators (including non–native species) for surface waters, the effects of non–native species on wetland restoration and studies on non–native, submerged aquatic vegetation. EPA leads U.S. activities under the North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

    EPA engages in international invasive species issues through its office of International Affairs (e.g., through the Trilateral Commission for Environmental Cooperation), and various other offices on a project–by–project basis. When trans–border issues are at hand, the EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) offers expert advice, analysis, and risk assessment of potential invasive species issues. Within ORD, the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) provides the EPA, State Department and other clients with expert advice in international invasive species issues. EPA works extensively with Canada, and bordering states in managing invasive species issues in the Great Lakes region. NCEA and ORD primarily play the supporting role of providing expertise and analysis. in the future, international issues arising from ballast water transfer may become a part of the scope of EPA's work.

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  • U.S. Department of Transportation
  • U.S. Department of Transportation logo image
    U.S. Department of Transportation

    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has an oversight role in federally funded highway projects that include both Interstate and State highways. FHWA's Vegetation Management Program guides States departments of transportation on invasive species issues. the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) promotes safe and environmentally sound rail transportation and supports invasive species control efforts on rail corridors. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) promotes development and maintenance of an adequate, well–balanced, U.S. Merchant Marine, and supports the control of aquatic invasive species.

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  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Department of State logo image
    U.S. Department of State

    The Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, Office of Ecology and Terrestrial Conservation is the main point of contact with in the Department of State for invasive species issues.OES/ETC focuses on terrestrial invasive species, while OES/OA deals with marine and coastal invasive species. DOS deals with invasive species issues in several contexts, but primarily presenting the U.S. position and policies on invasive species in international forums, such as conventions, regional initiatives and bilateral agreements. the convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), within APEC and Environmental chapters of Free Trade Agreements are examples of such conventions and initiatives. DOS works with other Federal agencies and government contacts to develop the U.S. position.

    DOS also participates with various projects, initiatives and workshops on IAS to: 1) increase awareness; 2) build regional and global capacity to address invasive species prevention and management; 3) share data and information; and 4) As a platform for international diplomacy. Currently, OES/ETC is sponsoring invasive species work in the Pacific Islands Learning Network (PILN) through an OES grant to The Nature Conservancy. OES/OA projects focus on the Asia–Pacific region. and also include the Small island Developing States (SIDS)

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  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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    U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    Within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) have multiple responsibilities that involve invasive species. USCG works with other agencies to develop and enforce international fisheries and maritime agreements, including those concerning ballast water management. FEMA is within Emergency Support Function (ESF #11), and works with other Federal agencies to control and eradicate outbreaks of animal/zoonotic diseases, exotic plant pests, or invasive plant pest infestations. FEMA also contributes to the protection of natural and cultural resources HSARPA supports research to advance the miniaturization of biological and chemical sensors capable of detecting hazardous biological materials such as disease agents.

    CBP works with APHIS and FWS to enforce laws prohibiting or limiting the entry of invasive species. In addition, CBP supports the removal of invasive plants that interfere with border area surveillance. CBP is responsible for inspections at ports of entry for agricultural products by DHS ordinance. CBP agriculture specialists follow agriculture regulations and policies provided by the USDA to conduct these inspections. Conveyances, cargo and passenger baggage are inspected to determine if they present an invasive species pathway. CBP personnel determine whether plant and animal materials can enter the U.S., thereby preventing the introduction of invasive species.

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  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • U.S. Agency for International Development logo image
    U.S. Agency for International Development

    USAID is the principal U.S. agency extending assistance to developing countries, and works in four major topical areas: economic growth and agricultural development; population, health, and nutrition; environment; and democracy and governance. USAID has responsibility for ensuring that U.S. development of assistance programs do not lead to the introduction of invasive species in other nations. It is well positioned to use its programs to support projects to eradicate and control invasive species where they are already established in developing countries, especially when food, water, and health security are at risk.

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  • Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has lead responsibility for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy, and is the lead trade negotiator for the United States in bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade and investment agreements. USTR is responsible for developing and implementing trade policies which promote economic growth, support efforts to protect the environment, advance core labor standards, and create new opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, and agricultural products. USTR also leads an interagency process to conduct reviews of the possible environmental effects of trade negotiations, sets and coordinates U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy. It also leads or directs U.S. negotiations with other countries through entities such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo image
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    NASA’s remote Earth sensing capabilities are proving instrumental in delineating locating and predicting new or current invasive species infestations on both the land and in the oceans. In addition, NASA’s Planetary Protection Office continues in the forefront of monitoring invasive species farther away, ensuring that the risk of accidental cross-contamination of the planets by hitchhiking life forms during interplanetary missions is kept to a minimum. Therefore, NASA’s activities are critical to addressing the full range of potential invasive species issues at the Federal and international level.

    For example, NASA has been active in meeting the requirements of the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty Article IX, which specifies that solar system exploration missions should avoid forward and backward contamination of biological material. NASA’s current guidance on potential invasive species is derived from the International Council for Science (ICSU)/Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) international standards for planetary protection, along with recommendations from a number of U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council studies and the presence of an active Planetary Protection Advisory Subcommittee, which includes international and interagency representation.

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  • U.S. Department of Treasury
  • U.S. Department of Treasury logo image
    U.S. Department of Treasury

    Prior to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, Treasury housed the U.S. Customs Service, which assisted in preventing invasive species from entering the U.S. Currently Treasury advises and assists in the formulation and execution of U.S. international economic and financial policy, including the development of policies with respect to international trade, investment,bilateral aid, environment, and development programs.

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  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services logo image
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    Certain invasive species impact human health directly. Although NISC does not address pathogens and parasites that infect humans exclusively, NISC does coordinate actions on animal and zoonotic diseases that are transmitted to not only humans, but other animal species as well. Several agencies within HHS deal with zoonitic diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) address zoonotic diseases, emerging diseases, and those with unknown etiologies.

    Specifically, CDC’s National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCVED) provides leadership, expertise, and services concerning epidemiological science, bioterrorism preparedness, applied research, disease surveillance, and outbreak response for infectious diseases. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide support for zoonotic and bioterrorism preparedness research. The Public Health Service (PHS) is one of seven uniformed services whose officers serve at NPS, NOAA, USDA, EPA and DOD.Their mission includes zoonotic disease surveillance and prevention.

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