Funding for surveillance exercises is critical to detecting new populations of AIS.

Early detection (i.e., monitoring) and response programs are intended to detect introductions of new non-native species early while populations are still localized. Early detection increases the likelihood that response efforts to contain, control, and ideally eradicate new populations will be effective. A comprehensive basin-wide approach is needed to coordinate and guide detection and response efforts.

Annual GLRI Funding for Detection & Response

Chart showing annual funding trends for AIS detection activities.

Funding for detection and response work has increased in recent years, primarily due to a significant increase in the amount of funding dedicated to surveillance and response for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This U.S. federal agency conducts work across the Great Lakes region and coordinates directly with states to ensure that the Great Lakes are effectively and efficiently monitored for new AIS introductions.

GLRI Funding for Detection & Response by Species Groups

Bar chart showing relative proportion of what taxa receive funding for detection activities.

Surveillance methods and strategies vary depending on the type of target organism (e.g., a plant versus a fish). Thus, investments in different gears and approaches are important for a successful AIS surveillance program.

Recipients of GLRI Funding for Detection & Response

Bar chart showing relative proportion of what user groups receive funding for detection activities.

The majority of GLRI funding for surveillance and response is awarded to different federal agencies that have the staffing resources and jurisdiction to conduct monitoring in the Great Lakes. Tribal, state, and local governments also conduct monitoring within their jurisdiction, contributing to the total surveillance effort within the Great Lakes region. Non-profit organizations and academic institutions typically coordinate their efforts with the appropriate government agencies in order to avoid duplication of effort and maximize the full impact of regional surveillance and response.

Funding sources for AIS work are varied and include grant programs administered by non-profit organizations, private sector funding initiatives, and base agency budgets set annually through state, provincial, and federal legislatures. Federal funding in the U.S. includes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which was established and funded in 2010 to address the major threats to Great Lakes ecosystems and drinking waters, including AIS. For more information about GLRI and funding, visit

GLRI data presented here is derived from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA)Environmental Accomplishments in the Great Lakes (EAGL) database of federally-dispersed GLRI funds (i.e., FY2010-2015 funding dispersed directly to recipients for project implementation), including associated data metrics and project descriptions. A set of search terms and functions relevant to AIS research and management was used to identify AIS projects within the EAGL database. The information presented here does not include funding data for invasive carp projects. For complete information about Asian Carp Action Plan funding and projects, visit

The information presented here builds on a database of AIS funding originally developed by the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.