The Nature Conservancy has animated how six invasive species have spread across the Great Lakes over time.
The group has created six maps that show population increase and spread since the appearance of each species in the Great Lakes basin and beyond.
Sea lamprey, the first of the six invasive species to appear in the area, initially showed up in Lake Erie in 1921. The map shows the population of the fish expanding into the rest of the Great Lakes up until present day.
Also included in the maps are Asian carp, zebra and quagga mussels, round goby, Eurasian Ruffe and black carp.
A report done in 2012 by Anderson Economic Group and commissioned by the Nature Conservancy estimated the cost of controlling aquatic invasive species to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the site.
Now there is legislation in congress (s2094), and the question is: If the St. Lawrence river, Mississippi River, etc. are classified as international seaways or trade routes etc., will the language in the legislation stating that the legislation will comply with all treaties, agreements, etc., eliminate the provision for states to petiton, for a stronger regulation. Will the legislation add the extra protection needed for the pristine St. Lawrence river, Great Lakes, and any other waters deemed for use by the international shipping industry from the impending damage that will happen if only the weak Coast Guard “final rule” mirroring the international standard is legislated? Sadly if they do not increase standards and timelines, an ocean flush, known to be inadequate for many invasive s will be relied on long into the future, allowing salt resistant virus such as VHSV, cholera along with other invasive s in cyst, bio films and sludge on the bottom of the tanks to remain problematic.
It is known that many virus’s exist in ballast water, but little if any test are done to determine what they are. As many virus’s can be activated by temperature change, invasive s will only become more problematic in the future. As the earth warms many unknown health problems may arise. If the Senate approves ratification of the Law of The Sea treaty will they include provisions to allow the United States the right to add environmental regulations at its discreation as an autonomous country protecting their environment?