Governors and Premiers Support Law Enforcement Efforts to Hold Invasive Species Offenders Accountable
On June 14, 2019, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers announced broadened membership to a powerful instrument that can help investigations of violators of aquatic invasive species laws. All ten of the region’s States and Provinces have joined the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Regional Cooperative Enforcement Operations. This MOU facilitates information sharing and cross-jurisdictional investigations and is an essential tool for law enforcement officials to act on AIS and other wildlife offenses. By encouraging all ten of the region’s States and Provinces to join this agreement, the Governors and Premiers have demonstrated their support to further deter illegal possession, sale and transportation of invasive species like Asian carp.
This action is the latest in a series of measures led by the Governors and Premiers to combat invasive species. These species cost the U.S. and Canada billions of dollars in damages each year, are a burden on the economy, and strain state, provincial and federal budgets.
Previously, the Governors and Premiers identified the 21 “least wanted” non-native species that pose a particularly high risk to the region. In recent years, the States and Provinces have taken more than 50 separate actions against these fish, plants, and invertebrates. The Governors and Premiers have also enacted a mutual aid agreement to ensure that the region’s States and Provinces can collectively combat an invasion by these or other invasive species. Regular, regional exercises ensure that officials are prepared.