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Land & Biodiversity

Encouraging Cooperative Management of Invasive Species


ELI supports and encourages interstate and interagency cooperation and coordination on invasive species issues. We partner with interagency invasive species groups, such as regional panels of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, to assist these groups in their efforts to promote harmonization of legal approaches across state and agency lines and to proactively identify and address emerging invasive species pathways and threats.


  • Harmonizing invasive species management in the Chesapeake Bay: Invasive species are a serious issue in the Chesapeake Bay, but effective prevention and management require the cooperation of multiple agencies in six states and the federal government. With state and federal agency partners, ELI analyzed existing legal authorities and management practices to identify legal and practical hurdles to cooperation and opportunities to harmonize policy on an inter-state basis. Some ELI reccommendations were adopted by the Mid-Atlantic Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species, and ELI continues to work with the panel and Bay states alike to encourage effective policy reform.

  • Applying the Clean Water Act to invasive species problems: Some states have begun regulating invasive species under the Clean Water Act. ELI has explored how different states have used the TMDL Program to designate waters as impaired due to aquatic invasive species. We also identified the legal authorities enabling states to apply the Clean Water Act in this context. EPA and the states alike are using ELI’s report to inform their ongoing policy development and TMDL determination processes.


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