TRPA To Host Invasive Species Conference For Western States

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Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV — Top experts will converge at Lake Tahoe in September for the annual meeting of the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, hosted by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Taking place September 2-4, the annual meeting brings together officials from across the country in the fight against western expansion of aquatic invasive species. Participants will learn from informative lectures and discussions to foster coordination of aquatic invasive species management among western states. This event is open to the public.

“The Panel’s annual meeting is an important gathering for those of us actively engaged in the fight against invasives,” said Dennis Zabaglo, Aquatic Resources Program Manager at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and a WRP Executive Committee member. “Keeping the communication lines open is critical to protecting our water resources from new and existing invasive species.”

The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program, led by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and 40 public and private partner organizations, has become a national leader in the prevention and control of aquatic invasive species. Hosting the Western Regional Panel annual meeting at Lake Tahoe will further advance the program as a national leader in the fight against aquatic invasive species.

“The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency jumped at the opportunity to host the annual meeting,” said Leah Elwell, Coordinator for the Western Regional Panel. “Their determination to bring together invasive species experts for this meeting is indicative of their strong program to deal with aquatic invasive species in the Lake Tahoe area.”

Founded in 1997, the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species strives to limit the introduction, spread, and impacts of aquatic invasive species in the western region of the United States. Whether conducting thousands of boat inspections, cleaning up tsunami debris, or developing habitat restoration plans, managers and biologists work in a fast-paced environment where they must anticipate and react to damaging aquatic invasive species. Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to our rivers and lakes, and require comprehensive management strategies to protect our water resources. The Panel members hail from state, federal, tribal agencies as well as many academic and non-profit entities.

The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species and Watercraft Inspection Programs are implemented by 40 public and private partner organizations including federal, state and local jurisdictions, research partners, public utility districts, and private marinas. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District lead the inspection program through the collaborative framework of the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinating Committee chaired by TRPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Committee provides the leadership, direction, and resources to fulfill this program’s mission of prevention, detection and control of aquatic invasive species in the Lake Tahoe Region.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, call Devin Middlebrook, Environmental Education Specialist, at 775-589-5230 or dmiddlebrook@trpa.org.

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