In 1959, the Great Lakes opened to deep draft navigation, and since then these waters have transported an estimated two billion tonnes of cargo from the United States to Canada (Seaway 2008). The lakes have 47 deep draft ports and 55 shallow draft harbors, because waterborne commerce is more economical and environmentally sound form of transportation and is made possible by partnerships with government agencies and industry in both the United States and Canada (U.S. Army 2008). Although it has maintained a near-perfect record of trouble-free navigation for over 40 years, the quality of this navigation has not been so perfect (Seaway 2008). One hundred and eighty invasive species such as the sea lamprey and zebra mussel have negatively impacted the Great Lakes on both an environmental and economical level (National 2007).
[...] While crucial legislation is being reviewed and the battle between environmental groups and shipping companies persists, new and existing invasive species will continue to disrupt and damage the Great Lakes' ecosystem. Figure Legend Figure The Great Lakes water system. Figure Annual distribution of Revenue among Lake Michigan/Superior, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. Figure St. Lawrence Seaway. Figure Sea lamprey on a lake trout taken by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Figure Zebra mussel with striping and byssal threads. Figure Pipe clogged by zebra mussels. [...]
[...] coastal regions; Requirement of detailed ballast exchange reporting by all vessels; Reauthorization of the mandatory Great Lakes ballast management program; Authorization of a Ballast Technology Development Program to investigate technological and management tools to replace ballast exchange; Continuation and expansion of the comprehensive state management plan program to include an aquatic plants program; Authorization of funding for research and development of a dispersal barrier for the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal to help prevent transfers of organisms between the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi River basin; Creation of voluntary national guidelines for recreational vessels to help prevent spread of nonindigenous aquatic species overland via trailered vessels; Region-specific research on the effects of invasive species in the Gulf of Mexico, Narragansett Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain, the Great Lakes, California and the Pacific Coast, and Hawaii, and other regions yet to be determined. [...]
[...] Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, which caused more of an opportunity for invasive species to be introduced into the lakes of the invasive species came from transoceanic ballast water) (Glassner- Shwayder 2000). The American-Canadian navigation project was started in 1954 to create a water connection to Duluth, Minnesota (The Great Lakes 2006). With more navigation routes, came an increased risk for invasive species to invade the Great Lakes. Since the 19th century, over 30% of the organisms that invaded the Great Lakes are attributed to the European shipping in the St. [...]
[...] (Glassner-Shwayder 2000) GREAT LAKE PANEL ON AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES The Great Lakes Panel has worked since 1991 to assist the ANS Task Force with preventing and controlling the influx of invasive species into the lakes. According to the NANPCA, the panel's responsibilities include the following: Identify ANS priorities for the Great Lakes; Make recommendations to the national ANS Task Force; Coordinate ANS program activities in the Great Lakes that are not cited directly in the Act; Provide advice to the public and private individuals and entities concerning aquatic nuisance control; Prepare an annual report describing regional prevention, research and control activities in the Great Lakes Basin. [...]
[...] With regard to the citizen suit, Larry Mitchell, president of the League of Ohio Sportsmen and Ohio Wildlife Federation said, ‘We're taking legal action now, because we're losing the battle against invasive species and it's time to fight back. We have solutions to stop invasive species from entering our Great Lakes. It is now time to use them' (Conservation 2007). Later that same year, a federal court judge dismissed a shipping industry lawsuit that tried to change Michigan's strict law on ballast waters (Court's 2007). [...]
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