Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended, Part I (10/20/2003)

Aquatic Invasive Species Research Act - (Sec. 4) Requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Smithsonian Institution, acting through the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (the Administering Agencies) to: (1) coordinate with appropriate State agencies, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other appropriate Federal agencies, and the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (Task Force) and Invasive Species Council (Council); (2) enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the implementation of this Act; (3) contract or otherwise cooperate with academic researchers; and (4) carry out this Act, to the extent practicable, working within the organizational structure of the Task Force and the Council.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Administering Agencies to: (1) develop and conduct a marine and freshwater research program to support efforts to assess rates and patterns of the introduction of invasive nonnative species into the Aquatic Ecosystem and efforts to detect, prevent, and eradicate them; (2) develop standardized protocols for conducting ecological and pathway surveys of nonnative aquatic species, with specified survey requirements including documenting baseline ecological information of the aquatic ecosystem and pathways; (3) designate the number and location of survey sites necessary for such research; (4) convene at least one workshop with appropriate researchers and representatives involved in the management of aquatic invasive species from Federal and State agencies and academic institutions to gather recommendations; and (5) conduct research to identify the relationship between the introduction and establishment of nonnative aquatic species.

Directs NOAA and USGS to jointly administer a program to award competitive grants to academic institutions, State agencies, and other appropriate groups and diverse institutions to assist in such marine and freshwater research program.

Requires the USGS to develop, maintain, and update a central, national database of the information and make the database widely available to the public.

Amends the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA) to require ship pathway surveys to examine other potential modes for the introduction of nonnative aquatic species by ship, including hull fouling.

(Sec. 6) Requires the Administering Agencies to: (1) analyze the marine and freshwater research data collected and other relevant research; and (2) develop a profile to predict whether a species planned for importation is likely to invade a particular aquatic ecosystem if introduced.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008 to carry out such research, earmarking specified amounts to SERC, USGS (including activities through the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Program), and NOAA for the competitive research grants.

(Sec. 7) Directs the Council, in coordination with the Task Force and the Administering Agencies, to: (1) disseminate and report on information collected under this Act; (2) with other appropriate Federal and State agencies, develop a national strategy for how information will be shared with Federal, State, and local entities; and (3) provide information and an ongoing educational program for pathway users on how their practices could be modified to prevent the intentional or unintentional introduction of nonnative aquatic species into aquatic ecosystems. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

(Sec. 8) Requires the EPA, acting through its Office of Research and Development (ORD), to develop and administer a grant program to fund research, development, demonstration and verification of environmentally sound, cost-effective technologies and methods to control and eradicate aquatic invasive species. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

Directs the Assistant Secretary of the Army for the Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with the FWS and other appropriate Federal agencies and academic researchers, to establish a research, development, and demonstration program to study environmentally sound methods and technologies to reduce dispersal of aquatic invasive species through interbasin waterways and assess the potential for using those methods and technologies in other waterways. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

Reauthorizes the ship pathway technology demonstration program under NANPCA. Authorizes appropriations in increased amounts for FY 2004 through 2008. Authorizes the Secretaries of the Interior and of Commerce also to demonstrate and verify technologies under such program to monitor and control pathways of organism transport on ships other than through ballast water. Requires NOAA to: (1) give preference, in issuing such grants, to technologies likely to meet criteria in any testing protocol developed by the EPA-ORD's Environmental Technology Verification Program; and (2) hold an annual workshop of principal investigators funded under such program and researchers conducting research directly related to ship pathway technology development, for information exchange, and make the proceedings widely available to the public.

(Sec. 9) Requires the Coast Guard and the EPA, in coordination with NOAA, the Task Force, and other appropriate Federal agencies and academic researchers, to develop a research program to support implementation of ship pathway standards to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species by ships into the Aquatic Ecosystem.

Directs the Coast Guard, in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Maritime Administration, to design a performance test for ballast water exchange such as a dye study to measure the effectiveness of ballast water exchange.

Requires the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating to arrange with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to: (1) identify the relative risk of transfer of various taxonomic groups by different ship modes; (2) assess the extent to which a ballast water standard that virtually eliminates the risk of introduction of invasive species by ballast water may relate to the risk of introductions by all ship modes, and explain the degree of uncertainty in such assessment; and (3) recommend methods for reducing organism transfers by ships, and identify the research, development, and demonstration needed to improve the information base to support such methods, including economic information. Requires a report to Congress.

Directs the Task Force, in conjunction with the EPA, the Administering Agencies, and other appropriate Federal and State agencies and academic researchers, to report to the Coast Guard with recommendations for: (1) a ship pathway treatment standard that incorporates all potential modes of transfer by ships; and (2) methods for type approval and accurate monitoring of treatment performance that are simple and streamlined and follow established protocols.

Requires the Coast Guard, within two years after it issues any standard relating to the introduction by ships of invasive species, to convene a working group including the EPA, the Administering Agencies, and other appropriate Federal and State agencies and academic researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of that standard and accompanying implementation protocols.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

(Sec. 10) Requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a grant program for researchers at institutions of higher education and museums to carry our research programs in systematics and taxonomy. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

(Sec. 11) Directs the Administering Agencies to develop and report to Congress a plan to survey State and Federal agency methods of controlling or eradicating aquatic invasive species, help exchange information on such methods, and evaluate their cost-effectiveness.