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Clean up the Ballast

Aquatic invasive species are one of the biggest threats to River health today. Save The River's Clean-Up the Ballast Campaign is focused on stopping aquatic invasive species introductions by tackling the primary source - ship ballast tanks.

The Link Between Ship Ballast and Invasive Species Introductions

imageMore than 186 aquatic invasive species have been documented in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River system. And, A new invasive species introduction is reported in the Great Lakes every 6 1/2 months, the highest rate of introductions for any ecosystem with long-term data.

Since 1959, when the St. Lawrence Seaway opened the River and Lakes to direct ocean-going shipping, 65% of species discovered have been attributed to ballast water release. Scientists have shown that the rate of discovery of invaders is directly correlated with shipping activity.

Economic Impact of Aquatic Invasive Species

The cost to the regional economy from invasive species is estimated to be billions of dollars per year. The cost of zebra and quagga mussel control alone is estimated at $500 million per year over the next five years.

Clean Up the Ballast Campaign

Save The River is working to clean up ship ballast tanks in two ways:

  • Legislation - Save The River has been advocating at the federal and state level for stringent ballast regulations for all ships transiting the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence River.
  • Moratorium - Save The River has joined the call for an immediate moratorium on salties until strong ballast protections are in place to prevent new aquatic invasive species introductions. To learn more visit www.saltfreelakes.org.

Latest News

February 23-28 is National Invasive Species Awareness Week
Aquatic invasive species are one of the most critical problems facing the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. With 186 species introduced into the River and Lakes, the region's ecosystem is bending under the weight of these introduced species. Some scientists worry that the ecosystem of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River may be close to collapse because of these species. The damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year. read more

New Seaway chief Betty Sutton seeks economic, green balance.
That’s the headline of a NCPR story today and from her record it rings true. It’s just we all know that at times the challenge is in finding that balance among all the seeming competing interests. “Sutton says she believes in finding a balance – between the 227,000 jobs and 33 billion dollars in revenue that ... read more

Disappointment with new EPA Ballast Water Regulations
It is disappointing that almost 40 years after the enactment of the Clean Water Act it took a lawsuit to force the EPA to act to protect the nation’s waterways at all and that when it did act, it did so in such weak manner. read more

Reflections on a New River Season
The opening of the Seaway prompted a reflection on the state of the River and the River communities that depend on it. We were pleased that several newspapers (Thousand Islands Sun, Kingston Whig-Standard, Brockville Recorder & Times and the Watertown Daily Times) thought it worth publishing. The T.I.Sun version is here. read more

A Breakdown of the New US Coast Guard Ballast Rules – What They Mean for the River
As the Seaway opens this week for its 54th shipping season, we’ve been grappling to fully understand the long-term implications of last Friday’s release by the US Coast Guard of their final rule for regulating ship ballast discharges. read more

Action Alert! Tell Congress that the Great Lakes Need Stronger (Not Weaker) Protection against Invasive Species
A bill being considered by Congress this week will derail progress on cleaning up ship ballast tanks and stopping aquatic invasive species introductions. Call your Member of Congress today and tell them that the St. Lawrence River needs stronger – not weaker – ballast clean up programs! Background Aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and round ... read more

Asian Carp – Why is stopping them so complicated?
We’ve all been hearing the dire news about Asian carp. These invasive fish are at the Great Lakes' back door, just miles from Lake Michigan. But, hundreds of miles downstream here on the St. Lawrence River, efforts to stop the Asian carp seem to be moving at a glacial pace. Save The River has been in touch with regional environmental partners, government agencies, and elected officials to figure out what’s going on with this critical River issue. Here’s what we’ve learned…. read more

Action Alert! Still Time to Urge Corps to Stop Asian Carp!
It's not too late! You still have time to write the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to call on them to stop the Asian carp. The deadline to comment is this Thursday, March 31. read more

See our blog for more news!     

Get in Touch

409 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624
p: (315) 686-2010
e: info@savetheriver.org

River Photos

Off to the races by Pam Quimby  Resting by Pam Quimby  On the Rocks by Nick Apel  Classic Sunset by Barb Hupp  TI Park Library by Meg Kerr  Fall by Carrie Kerr  Girls by Juliane Bauer  Winter Navigation by Sherman Ward 
 Pictures from our Flickr photostream

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