National aquatic invasive species conference coming to Tahoe | SierraSun.com

National aquatic invasive species conference coming to Tahoe

Staff report

LAKE TAHOE — Experts will converge at Lake Tahoe this September for the annual meeting of the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, hosted by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

The Sept. 2-4 meeting is open to the public and expected to bring officials from across the country in the fight against Western expansion of aquatic invasive species. Participants will learn from lectures and discussions to foster coordination of aquatic invasive species management among Western states.

"The panel's annual meeting is an important gathering for those of us actively engaged in the fight against invasives," Dennis Zabaglo, TRPA Aquatic Resources Program Manager and a WRP Executive Committee member, said in a statement. "Keeping the communication lines open is critical to protecting our water resources from new and existing invasive species."

Founded in 1997, the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species strives to limit the introduction, spread and impacts of aquatic invasive species in this region of the U.S., according to a TRPA news release.

Whether conducting thousands of boat inspections, cleaning up tsunami debris or developing habitat restoration plans, managers and biologists work in an environment where they anticipate and react to damaging aquatic invasive species.

"The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency jumped at the opportunity to host the annual meeting," Leah Elwell, Coordinator for the Western Regional Panel, said in a statement. "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."

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The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species and Watercraft Inspection Programs, led by TRPA and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, are implemented by 40 public and private partner organizations including federal, state and local jurisdictions, research partners, public utility districts and private marinas.

For information about the annual meeting or watercraft programs, call Devin Middlebrook at 775-589-5230 or dmiddlebrook@trpa.org.