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News stories tagged with "great-lakes"

Coming to the Great Lakes soon?  (Photo: USFWS)
Coming to the Great Lakes soon? (Photo: USFWS)

Green groups want Obama to protect Great Lakes from Asian carp invasion

Environmental groups are blasting the US Corps of Engineers and urging President Obama to do far more to stop the spread of an invasive fish into the Great Lakes.

Scientists say the aggressive Asian carp -which can weigh up to 100 pounds--could wipe out natural fish stocks in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

As Brian Mann reports, some lawmakers want new, permanent barriers that would prevent the fish from spreading.  Go to full article
Grass carp, one of four Asian species now in American waters.
Grass carp, one of four Asian species now in American waters.

Asian carp closer to Great Lakes?

Two New York lawmakers are demanding that U.S. officials shut two Chicago shipping locks to prevent an invasive fish from getting into the Great Lakes. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said Friday they are concerned about the recent discovery of a 20-pound Asian carp in Chicago's Lake Calumet, six miles from Lake Michigan. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article

Great Lakes states push for federal action against Asian carp

The invasive Asian carp and its potentially devastating impact on the Great Lakes were the focus of a Congressional hearing in Washington yesterday.

The agressive fish has already infested the Mississippi River basin, and traces of its genetic material have been found in Lake Michigan for the first time.

Illinois temporarily closed navigational locks near Chicago to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. Representatives of the states surrounding the lakes are pressing the federal government to do more, faster. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Jeff Alexander: invasive species "a slow-motion wildfire"

Invasive species - from zebra mussels and round gobies to the bloody red shrimp discovered three years ago - are one of the top threats to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. They've done billions of dollars in damage to the region's economy and environment. Most entered the Great Lakes through the ballast water of foreign ships on the St. Lawrence Seaway. Jeff Alexander has reported on invasive species for 25 years. He's also written a book about how most of those critters got here - hidden in the ballast of foreign ships on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The book is called Pandora's Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway. Alexander is the keynote speaker at the Save the River Winter Weekend, Saturday, February 6 at the Clayton Opera House. Alexander told David Sommerstein he first training his reporting in invasive species in 1989, when zebra mussels shut down the municipal water system in Munroe, Michigan.  Go to full article
Asian carp. Photo: The Environment Report
Asian carp. Photo: The Environment Report

Asian Carp update

A big monster of a fish is at the center of a US Supreme Court case. Asian Carp are making their way up the Mississippi towards the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Michigan's Attorney General - along with New York and several other Great Lakes states - filed a lawsuit asking the Court to close a Chicago canal in order to keep the carp out. The shipping industry says the consequences would be devastating. Jennifer Guerra has a closer look at what's at stake.  Go to full article

Birding the Seaway Trail

Birders looking for the best birding spots along the big waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have a new resource. The Seaway Trail Foundation has published a new birding theme guidebook to help birders find their favorite raptors, songbirds and waterfowl. Todd Moe talks with ornithologist Gerry Smith, author of Birding the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, about some of his favorite birding hot spots.  Go to full article

Seaway picking up ground on invasive species

For decades now, invasive species have been one of the biggest threats to the health and economy of the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes regions. More than 180 invaders have snuck into the watershed, most hidden in the ballast tanks of foreign Seaway ships. Things like zebra and quagga mussels, the round goby, and the sea lamprey crowd out native species, disturb the ecosystem, and have cost the region billions of dollars. But scientists and shippers are cautiously optimistic they're on the right track to keeping new invaders out of the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Asian carp threatens Great Lakes

Earlier this month, DNA of the Asian carp was discovered downstream of a multi-million dollar electric barrier designed to repel the giant fish from the Great Lakes. The barrier was built in a canal in Chicago that connects the Mississippi River with Lake Michigan. Asian carp have been swimming up the Mississippi for years. The DNA discovery set in motion a frantic response from state and federal agencies. The canal was poisoned with rotenone last Friday when the barrier had to be turned off for maintenance. Thousands of fish were killed, but only one asian carp was among them. The governor of Michigan has vowed legal action to have shipping locks closed to seal off the canal. Jennifer Nalbone is with the regional environmental group, Great Lakes United. She told David Sommerstein the Asian carp will crowd out native fish and devastate the recreational fishing industry, and damage the entire ecosystem.  Go to full article
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson hopes containers (below) will revive the waterway's fortunes.
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson hopes containers (below) will revive the waterway's fortunes.

Seaway chief hopes for traffic turnaround

On the St. Lawrence Seaway's website, there's a picture of a freighter docked next to mountains of "containers" - those boxes that fit on trucks and trains and carry virtually every good you can think of. Containers are the currency of global trade. Yet they're passing the St. Lawrence Seaway by. Just a tenth of one percent of all cargo that travelled the St. Lawrence Seaway this year came in a container. Most of the cargo is bulk commodities, stuff like iron ore, coal, steel, and grain - the building blocks of industry that just disappear when the economy tanks. So it's no surprise 2009 was a brutal year for the Seaway, with tonnage down 30%. In fact, Seaway traffic has for the most part decreased since the late 1970s. This all gives Terry Johnson a headache. As head of the U.S. side of the shipping channel that links the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, Johnson's in charge of turning those numbers around. He told David Sommerstein if gas goes back up to 4 dollars a gallon, or if the roads become clogged with truck traffic, the Seaway will benefit. But for now, Johnson places his hopes in those containers. And he hopes they'll come from Nova Scotia.  Go to full article

Book Review: "Living Waters"

For those of us in the North Country the St. Lawrence River is a summer playground or the wide water below us when we take the bridge to Canada. For author Margaret Wooster, the giant river is part of the Great Lakes watershed, and an ecosystem in danger. Betsy Kepes reviews Wooster's book Living Waters, Reading the Rivers of the Lower Great Lakes.  Go to full article

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