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
More 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.
Invasive Species Awareness Week Ends, But Not the Invasions?
Heard of Caspian Sea Kilka? Black Sea Silverstripe? Black-striped Pipefish? Monkey (not Round) Goby? Not yet? But maybe soon. These may be the next wave of invaders to swarm the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. They have been identified as "likely to survive ballast water exchange as eggs, larvae, or adults based on salinity tolerances." read more
How invasive species changed the Great Lakes forever
A primer on invasive species in the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. Worth a re-read this Invasive Species Awareness Week. read more
Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
Important steps for anyone boating on the St. Lawrence River (and not just during Invasive Species Awareness Week) from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website read more
Invasive Species Awareness Week
We know a little bit about invasive species here on the St. Lawrence. In fact, we've become a vector for for their movement from our waters to others in the state and provinces. The invasion of non-native, harmful species goes back to at least the construction of the Erie Canal. But it wasn't until the opening of the River and the Great Lakes to international shipping in the 1950's that the scope and pace of the invasion threatened to completely upend the natural ecosystem and species dependent on it. read more
Its National Invasive Species Awareness Week
Last year New York State took a step forward to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and to protect our waters. Beginning August 2015 all boats and floating docks launched in New York State must be clean of plant or animal matter. The intent of the new law is to prevent the spread of invasive species from one waterbody to another. read more
Its What We, With Our Members & Followers, Do
From this morning's Watertown Daily Times: "This weekend, Save the River will hold its annual winter meeting . . . As the conference attendees listen to the panels and enjoy the raw frozen beauty of the St. Lawrence in midwinter from a first-class hotel, it is time to send a strong message to Washington. The International Joint Commission’s lake level plan must be adopted . . . Save the River should remind U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik and U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand about the importance of this work to New York." We do and with over 5,000 members and followers, we think it is a message they should listen to. read more
Action Alert: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2014
The GLRI Act of 2014 would formally authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for five years at up to $300 million annually. The bill will ensure that this successful program continues to clean up toxic pollutants, restore fish and wildlife habitat, fight invasive species, and reduce nutrient pollution throughout the Great Lakes region. The GLRI has produced impressive results, but there is still work to be done. Please help support a vital piece of legislation that will keep restoration efforts on track! read more
Ontario Re-Introduces Invasive Species Legislation
Save The River applauds Ontario for taking action to protect communities from invasive species through prevention, early detection, rapid response and eradication of invasive species in the province. read more
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
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