The Mid-Atlantic Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species (MAPAIS) was formed in 2003 through the efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Invasive Species Workgroup, which identified and ranked invasive species threats to the Chesapeake Bay region. With so many invasive species threats in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Mid-Atlantic region, the Chesapeake Bay Invasive Species Workgroup expanded their geographic scope by forming MAPAIS.
MAPAIS has a diverse membership representing state and federal agencies, academic institutions, environmental organizations, commercial interests, and regional entities.
MAPAIS is one of six regional panels administered by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF), an intergovernmental organization dedicated to preventing and controlling aquatic nuisance species as authorized by the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act (NANPCA) of 1990. NANPCA mandates were further expanded with the passage of the National Invasive Species Act in 1996. The Task Force consists of 10 federal agency representatives and 12 ex-officio members, and is co-chaired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Task Force coordinates governmental and private sector efforts throughout the U.S. by working with regional panels, like MAPAIS, and issue specific committees and work groups.
The panel will assist state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders, in developing and implementing strategic, coordinated, action-oriented approaches to prevent and control aquatic invasive species in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The panel holds biannual meetings and its chair represents the panel on the ANSTF. The panel follows a set of Standard Operating Procedures for organizational structure, meetings, and general function.
What’s an aquatic invasive species?
In simple terms, AIS are a non-native species that harm biological communities, habitats, economies, or human health. Aquatic invaders can threaten commercial, agricultural, and recreational activities while out competing native species and disrupting natural communities.
Another term often used interchangeably with invasive species isnuisance species. The Non-indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA) defines aquatic nuisance species as nonindigenous species that threaten the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural or recreational activities dependent on such waters. ANS include nonindigenous species that may occur in inland, estuarine and marine waters and that presently or potentially threaten ecological processes and natural resources. In addition to adversely affecting activities dependant on waters of the United States, ANS adversely affect individuals, including health effects.In general, this Web site uses the term invasive species.
Photo: Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) Credit: Matt Ashton, Maryland DNR