Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response in Pennsylvania: A Case Study of Successes and Lessons Learned

Recorded April 12, 2021

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Hydrilla verticillata. Photo by Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

Sara Stahlman

Sara Stahlman, Extension Leader at Pennsylvania Sea Grant.

When aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention efforts fail, it is critical that a structure be in place to quickly and effectively address new infestations before they have an opportunity to establish and spread. The development of the Pennsylvania AIS rapid response plan was led by Pennsylvania Sea Grant and approved by the Governor’s Invasive Species Council of Pennsylvania in September 2014. Since that time, Pennsylvania Sea Grant has worked to streamline and improve this process through the development of mock rapid response exercises and trainings for state agencies and organizations involved with invasive species. This presentation reviews the rapid response process in Pennsylvania and highlights specific rapid response examples that have utilized the process to respond to real infestations.

Sara Stahlman

Extension Leader at Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Sara Stahlman joined Pennsylvania Sea Grant in 2006 and became extension leader in July 2017. Sara is responsible for providing statewide leadership and management for the Pennsylvania Sea Grant extension program in several key areas including water quality, climate change, fisheries, invasive species, waterway and land-use planning. Throughout her career Sara has engaged with local, national, and international audiences by providing presentations and organizing stakeholder workshops, and through the development of successful products and programs. She earned her bachelor’s in biology with a minor in psychology from Penn State Behrend, and her master’s degree in biology from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

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