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Old Dominion University is among the partner institutions of the new National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The national center leads multiple aquatic invasive species (AIS) research programs in partnership with other universities, including the University of Michigan, University of Windsor-Canada and Michigan State University, along with government agencies such as the U.S. Navy, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, USEPA, U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes International Fish Commission.

Aquatic invasive species are a global threat that affects the economic security, management, and beneficial uses of our coastal ecosystems. In order to maximize the benefits and effectiveness of NOAA's research investments towards understanding, preventing, responding to and managing aquatic species invasions in U.S. coastal ecosystems, the agency established the NOAA National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species in July 2003.

The center is housed at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., and its broad goal is to foster, coordinate and support aquatic invasive species research throughout and across NOAA.

The major pathways by which aquatic invasive species (AIS) reach U.S. ecosystems all involve human activities, especially commerce and trade. Costs to the U.S. economy of AIS have reached 100s of millions of dollars per year and are mounting. Solutions to problems related to AIS will undoubtedly affect both the costs and policies related to commerce and trade.

NOAA is a science-based agency under the Department of Commerce whose mission it is to understand and predict changes in the earth's environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation's economic, social and environmental needs.

More information on the National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species is available on the Web at http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/Programs/ncrais/.

This article was posted on: July 22, 2003

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