The Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation is committed to sustainable water resources through the science of aquatic ecosystem management in collaboration with industry, academia, government and other stakeholders.
Each day, pressure mounts on the unique ecosystems that produce the fresh water vital to all life.
Invasive aquatic vegetation degrades water quality, causing health problems for people, loss of habitat for fish and wildlife, and a decrease in property values. It also impacts recreational activities. Although traditional management techniques and tools are available, there is a pressing need to develop new strategies and refine existing ones which can selectively control these aggressive weeds in an environmentally compatible fashion.
Technological improvements can only be achieved through competent and sustainable research and development programs. In the past, the federal government has played the prominent role in maintaining a coalition of research scientists, natural resource agencies, academic institutions, and private sector interests for studying and managing nuisance aquatic and wetland vegetation. However, significant reductions in agency-funded R&D programs have created a technological void, while invasive aquatic and riparian weeds continue to spread and cause grave environmental damage. Aquatic invasive species do not respect local political boundaries. They spread from state to state via interconnected river, lake, and water transportation systems. This is truly a national problem in scope, and local resources cannot begin to make a dent in it. It demands national attention. In a visionary and cooperative fashion, several companies established a nonprofit tax exempt organization, the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation (AERF), in 1996 to help stem the tide of declining national resources for aquatic plant management research.
Since then, the Foundation has grown and expanded to include memberships and partnerships with diverse organizations vested in aquatic plan management and restoration, including federal, state academic and private sector groups.
A technical advisory committee comprised of nationally recognized experts in the field of aquatic plant management from academia, federal and state agencies guides the scientific projects of the AERF.