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Environmental Science

Aquatic Nuisance Species Transfer

EVS is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the risks that aquatic nuisance species, such as Asian carp, will move between the two basins through aquatic pathways.

EVS is working with the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) to determine the risks that aquatic nuisance species, such as Asian carp, will move between the Mississippi River Basin and the Great Lakes Basi through aquatic pathways. GLMRIS evaluates the feasibility of implementing various technologies or controls to prevent or reduce this movement, with a focus on the Chicago Area Waterway System, considered to be the most likely pathway for exchange. EVS has:

  1. Conducted an assessment of the economic and cultural importance of subsistence harvesting for federally recognized tribes within the GLMRIS study area,
  2. Evaluated the life history of high-risk invasive species,
  3. Identified habitat types that could be used by invasive species, and
  4. Completed a draft assessment of the risk of adverse impacts from successful interbasin transfer and establishment for priority species.

Working with the USACE, EVS developed a methodology to evaluate the potential for invasive species to become established, the effectiveness of various control strategies, and the level of environmental, economic, and social consequences that would result if nuisance species become established. EVS will also help evaluate and summarize the environmental impacts associated with implementation of specific control strategies. The results of this project will be critically important for guiding invasive species management strategies in the two basins.

Argonne staff members have considerable expertise in evaluating ecological risks and conducting ecological assessments. EVS scientists have assisted with preparation and technical reviews of risk assessments to evaluate effects of contaminants and remedial actions on ecological resources at various U.S. military bases, have applied ecological risk assessment principles to the evaluation of environmental impacts of energy development activities and programs, and have taught workshops on conducting ecological risk assessments for U.S. Navy personnel.