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Assessment of the invasive species legislation for the Great Lakes

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The Great Lakes.
  3. St. Lawrence Seaway.
  4. Sea Lamprey.
  5. Round Goby.
  6. National Invasive Species Act.
  7. Aquatic Nuisance Species Program.
  8. Executive Order on Invasive Species.
  9. Proposed State Regulations.
  10. EPA Regulation 40 C.F.R. 122.3(a).
  11. Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2007.
  12. Conclusion.

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. [...]


[...] Since the 19th century, over 140 of these species have established a new home in the Great Lakes (Invasive Species: Fact Sheet 2008). It is estimated that 34% of non-native species enter the Great Lakes via solid ballast and 56% are introduced via ballast water (Invasive Species: Fact Sheet 2008). Since the 19th century, at least 25 invasive fish species such as the round goby, sea lamprey, Eurasian ruffe, and alewife have established a new home in the Great Lakes (Invasive Species 2007). [...]

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