Chesterton Tribune

The status quo is killing the Great Lakes

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Voice of the People

The status quo is killing the Great Lakes: The introduction of exotic species and pathogens from the ballast water of commercial ships is slowly killing the Great Lakes and costing billions to local economies. Once here, they can not be eliminated and then spread inland.

The State of Michigan has shown leadership by implementing laws to regulate ballast water from ocean-going vessels, when the US and Canadian federal governments failed to do so. Other Great Lakes states are considering similar legislation.

The USEPA is hiding behind a lawsuit, delaying any action on their part. So, while the they scratch their heads, a new species is found every 6-8 months in the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes states and provinces should continue to act independently. They must mandate treatment of the ballast water of Great Lakes ships as well as foreign ships. “Lakers” are responsible for the spread of undesirable species from lake to lake and spreading a devastating virus, VHS, through the Lakes. The technology to treat the ballast water is available; the only thing missing is the incentive. This should come from the states.

A moratorium on foreign ships entering the Great Lakes should be implemented until they are required to treat 100% of their ballast water. We cannot afford the negative impacts to the Great Lakes ecology and economies.

Jim Sweeney

 

Posted 5/22/2007