New tool expected to help track invasive species in the Great Lakes

Dec 13, 2018

State and federal agencies have unveiled a new set of tools for managing invasive species in the Great Lakes basin.

The online tool maps the Great Lakes basin and breaks it down into grids. Within each grid, experts calculate exactly how much risk there is for invasive species.

Tawni Mata is with Blue Accounting, the company that will host the web tool. She said based on a variety of factors the tool will identify “at risk” regions for invasive species.

“Obviously we have an enormous amount of coastline in the basin we can’t possibly be looking at it all. So this is really a tool for helping those organizations that do surveillance for invasive species set priorities and invest wisely in where they're going to look and how they are going to look.”

Mata said the tool will be updated with new information as the many groups surveying the Great Lakes basin provide it.

“And we’re hoping that really sets the table for a conversation about whether we are addressing the region-wide risk in a systematic and comprehensive way.”

She said funding for the project comes through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

You can view the map of invasive species risk areas here: