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News stories tagged with "ballast"

"Swish & spit" works for ships

New research supports the practice of "swish and spit" for ocean-going ships that ply the St. Lawrence Seaway. As Mark Brush reports, the practice of rinsing ballast tanks with ocean salt water will help stop aquatic pests from getting into U.S. waters.  Go to full article

Ballast law battle builds

The fight over foreign invasive pests in cargo ships is heating up. Mark Brush reports environmental and conservation groups are going to court to defend one of the toughest ballast water laws in the country.  Go to full article
Seaway Admin. Terry Johnson
Seaway Admin. Terry Johnson

Seaway: invasive species "high priority"

We've been reporting on invasive species in the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes for years, ever since foreign freighters brought zebra mussels from the Caspian Sea. By last count, there are 183 invasives in the Great Lakes watershed. More than half of them came in the ballast of Seaway freighters. Federal laws about cleaning ships' ballast have done little to stop the invaders. Today we'll hear about how states are taking the matter into their own hands. But first, a change in message from the agency that runs the Seaway. In the past, its director has focused on those existing efforts to clean ballast water. But the Seaway's new administrator, Terry Johnson, is striking a different tone. In prepared remarks for Save the River's annual conference in Alexandria Bay, Johnson said the current system is "not adequate" and needs to be fixed quickly. Johnson spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article

River advocates to push for cleaner ballast

The environmental group Save The River is kicking off a campaign to urge Seaway freighters to clean their ballast water this weekend in Alexandria Bay. At the group's annual "Winter Weekend," the new St. Lawrence Seaway chief is scheduled to make his first public appearance in the North Country. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Michigan toughens ballast water laws

Invasive species continue to be one of the biggest problems facing the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. One state has a new law in effect to stop ocean-going ships from bringing in foreign pests when they enter the St. Lawrence Seaway. Rebecca Williams reports neighboring states are watching to see what happens next.  Go to full article

Fish disease prompts ban on ballast water

An emerging fish disease known as viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, has prompted a proposed ban on the use of ballast water in the Great Lakes. Chuck Quirmbach reports the proposed ban is leading to predictions of economic disruption.  Go to full article

New research center for ballast treatment

Foreign, invasive species often get into U.S. waters by hitching a ride in the ballast water of ocean going ships. Now, a new research center will work to stop the spread of these invasive species. The research center hopes to develop new treatment systems aimed at catching the critters before they get out. The GLRC's Stephanie Hemphill has more.  Go to full article

Court Rules EPA Must Regulate Ballast

Ballast water discharges from ocean freighters must be regulated by the U-S Environmental Protection Agency. That's the ruling of a California judge. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Sarah Hulett reports.  Go to full article

States to Crack Down on Ship Ballast Tanks?

A Michigan lawmaker is urging other states in the region to enter into a multi-state compact aimed at limiting the influx of invasive species into the Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Sarah Hulett reports.  Go to full article
Chinese mitten crab
Chinese mitten crab

Scientists Keep Tabs on Exotic Crab

Biologists are asking people to keep their eyes peeled for another potential invader into the St. Lawrence River. A Chinese mitten crab was found near Quebec City last fall. Like the American Eel, the mitten crab spawns in the ocean, so it's unlikely to proliferate in Lakes Ontario or Erie. But the St. Lawrence may be more welcoming habitat. David Sommerstein spoke with David MacNeill. He's a fisheries specialist with New York Sea Grant Extension in Oswego. He says biologists aren't sounding the alarm yet because one Chinese mitten crab hardly constitutes an invasion. But he says the discovery highlights the failure of ballast discharge rules for foreign ships entering the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Go to full article

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