Information/Education Committee

The Information/Education Committee facilitates the coordination of ANS information/education (I/E) activities conducted in the Great Lakes region; builds partnerships between the various stakeholders involved in ANS I/E efforts; and promotes the development and delivery of consistent messages regarding ANS prevention and control. Additionally, I/E Committee members regularly contribute relevant ANS project ideas for interjurisdictional project funding.

Work Highlights

  • 2023: Developed and published a new web platform for the Great Lakes Panel 
  • 2023: Led development of GLP AIS Language Statement that was submitted as a recommendation to the ANSTF and help support Michigan Sea Grant  to receive funding to host a national workshop on inclusive language for invasion biology.  
  • 2023: completed an inventory of grass carp outreach and education products utilized in the Great Lakes region
  • Helped develop numerous GLRI funded projects, including the Interjurisdictional Boater Behavior Project and the Aquatic Plant Management Outreach project

Produced Material

Related Committee Documents

  • Index of AIS Communication and Education Campaigns and Programs (2015) GLP members and observers contributed to this list of existing high-level AIS educational programs and outreach campaigns in the Great Lakes region with the goal of identifying gaps that need to be filled.
  • United States Geological Survey Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database This website serves “as a central repository for spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of introduced aquatic species. The program provides scientific reports, online/realtime queries, spatial data sets, regional contact lists, and general information.”
  • Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! This outreach campaign targets boaters, recreational watercraft users, and others to minimize the movement of aquatic invasive species between bodies of water by following the “clean, drain, dry” protocol. The website contains resources that range from pamphlets to videos. Find all of the available resources in this catalog put together by Wildlife Forever.
  • Habitattitude US and Habitattitude Canada These websites provide information for “aquarium hobbyists, backyard pond owners, water gardeners, and others” about protecting their environments from aquatic invasive species. The focus is on preventing the release of unwanted plants or animals that may become invasive.
  • Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force – Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) This website provides information about HACCP training opportunities and the importance of understanding potential invasive species pathways so that plans can be developed to reduce the spread of species through these pathways.
  • Nab the Aquatic Invader – This website provides resources for teachers and students. Games and activities teach students about aquatic invasive species and how they can help prevent their spread.
  • Ontario Invasive Species Education and Outreach Compendium (2013) This compendium provides an overview of education and outreach materials available in Ontario related to invasive species. It was put together by the Invasive Species Centre in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources , Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and the Ontario Invasive Plant Council.
  • Voluntary Guidelines to Prevent the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species: Recreational Activities and Water Gardening (2013) These documents were developed to provide consistent, practical, and effective guidelines for outreach efforts to prevent the spread of AIS through water gardening and recreational activities. These invasive-species-prevention recommendations can be used by water gardeners and recreational water users to guide their activities, as well as by societies, retailers, and outreach professionals when they develop outreach tools for these users.
  • Great Lakes Aquatic Invasions booklet (2007) This booklet includes information about outreach, research, management, and policy related to aquatic invasive species prevention and control in the Great Lakes, and contains several model strategies and case studies.
  • Aquatic Nuisance Species Information and Education Materials Relevant to the Great Lakes Basin: Recommendations and Descriptive Inventory (1997) This document includes an overview of the I/E inventory project and the collective ANS I/E effort; a series of findings and recommendations on regional ANS I/E activities to help guide future efforts; and a descriptive inventory of ANS I/E materials relevant to the Great Lakes Basin.

Committee Foundational Materials

  • Committee Charge

Recent Committee Projects

Language position statement
  • In 2023, the Information and Education Committee led position statement in support of inclusive and respectful language when discussing invasive species. The position statement was sent to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force with the request that the Outreach subcommittee consider the position statement for adoption as a national position on language & naming issues for invasive species communication.
  • The development of the position paper help support Michigan Sea Grant to receive funding to host The Invasive Species Language Workshop, a national workshop bringing together invasive species researchers and science communication professionals to share best practices for communicating about biological invasions to scientists, stakeholders, and the public.
Grass carp outreach index
  • In 2022-2023, the Education and Outreach Committee led an index reviewing the amount and types of outreach material available, specific to Grass Carp.  This work came out of a 2015 Great Lakes Panel document of Grass Carp priorities for the Great Lakes, in which at the time, the I/E committee noted “I/E needs are not being specifically or adequately addressed for Grass Carp”. This index would address if a lack of Grass Carp specific outreach material is still an ongoing problem for the region.
  • Grass Carp outreach material from around the Great Lakes basin was collected and organized by intended audience and content type (i.e., signage, fact sheet, webpage, etc.). A total of 20 different outreach products were identified. Based on the findings of the index, the committee concluded that the grass carp outreach in the region should be ranked as “Good”.