76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

PREVENTING AND CONTROLLING AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES

WHEREAS, aquatic invasive species have already caused significant damage and are continuing to cause damage to the waters of the United States, harming the integrity, biological diversity and economic health of these ecosystems; and

WHEREAS, local governments can and have taken steps aimed at prohibiting and penalizing the release of aquatic invasive species in the waters of their communities, but local governments do not have the adequate authority, jurisdiction or resources to effective control and prevent aquatic invasive species; and

WHEREAS, many organizations, state and local governments, and businesses agree that the nations' waters and the communities located on shorelines of the nations' waters would substantially benefit from a comprehensive, well-funded federal approach to help stop the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species; and

WHEREAS, many organizations, state and local governments, and businesses agree that there is a particular need for nationally standardized methods for early detection of aquatic invasive species, standardized procedures for rapidly responding to aquatic invasive species once discovered, effective regulation of ballast water and substantial increases in funding to prevent and control aquatic invasive species; and

WHEREAS, although there has been strong support in recent years for federal aquatic invasive species legislation, and in particular for the proposed ballast water treatment provision sin the “Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2008” before the U .S. Congress, such legislation has not yet advanced; and

WHEREAS, in the absence of federal aquatic invasive species legislation in the U .S., some state governments have already enacted or are moving towards enacting their own state laws and regulations to control such species; and

WHEREAS, the existence of a number of different state and provincial laws and policies that are not necessarily similar or coordinated with each other is not the most effective or the most efficient approach to prevention and control of aquatic invasive species; and

WHEREAS, issues related to aquatic invasive species are urgent and that time is of the essence with respect to protecting the Great Lakes and other waters from their harmful ecological and economic consequences,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the United States Congress to promptly enact the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2008, including the ballast water provisions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports research into new and innovative solutions to the problem of aquatic invasive species brought by ballast water or other means and encourages the United States Congress and the federal government to continue to fund these important projects;and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the United States Congress to provide maximum funding for existing aquatic invasive species control and current prevention programs, even in the absence of new legislation.