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News stories tagged with "invasive-species"

Asian Bittersweet. Source: Wikipedia Commons
Asian Bittersweet. Source: Wikipedia Commons

Getting a start on the weeds

Milder weather brings lots of green to the yard and garden, but not all of it's welcome. Just as perennial flowers are putting out their first growth, so are the perennial weeds. Martha Foley talks with Amy Ivy about common weeds, and why now is the time to tackle them. Plus advice on getting rid of tough invasives like bittersweet and grapevines.  Go to full article
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson (left) poses with other industry leaders as the first freighter of the season enters the St. Lambert lock.
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson (left) poses with other industry leaders as the first freighter of the season enters the St. Lambert lock.

Seaway burnishes "green" profile

Last week, the first freighter of the year rumbled up the St. Lawrence River. That marked the 53rd season of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a man-made channel linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

The Seaway's billion dollars of commerce is mostly an economic conversation between Canada's southern coast, America's Midwest, and the far-flung ports of the world.

But it's caused vast environmental damage in the North Country and across the Great Lakes, largely via invasive species.

David Sommerstein went to the Seaway's opening ceremony last week in Montreal. He sends this report on the Seaway's delicate balance between the economy and the environment.  Go to full article

Lake Ontario ecosystem incorporating invasive zebra and quagga mussels

An update now on the invasive zebra and quagga mussels. Yesterday, we told you about the Sackets Harbor water treatment plant on the shore of Lake Ontario. It was nearly shut down last week after its intake pipe was so choked with mussels almost no water came through.

This morning, we hear from Dr Dawn Dittman. She's a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey in Cortland, New York--and one of only a few people tracking the invasive mussels.

She says their numbers appear to be stabilizing. And she tells Jonathan Brown some popular sport fish--native to Lake Ontario--are starting to find zebra and quagga mussels quite tasty.  Go to full article
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
Russell Martin checks an EAB trap last summer.
Russell Martin checks an EAB trap last summer.

Story 2.0: purple boxes part of losing battle to save ash trees

The purple boxes are up on ash trees again this summer. They're traps for the emerald ash borer, an invasive bug that has devastated ash stands in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. In this state, the insect's been confined to western New York. Today we revisit the fight against the emerald ash borer. David Sommerstien has more.  Go to full article
Researchers crawl under the ledge of rock, wading upstream
Researchers crawl under the ledge of rock, wading upstream

Hale's Cave near Albany is ground zero of a deadly bat disease

The deadly bat disease known as white-nose syndrome was first identified in upstate New York three years ago. It continues to spread fast, with outbreaks now confirmed as far away as Ontario and Maryland. Researchers still don't know how to stop the fungus from reaching new caves. Here in the North Country, biologists now say the disease has already wiped out 95% of the largest bat colonies. Brian Mann traveled recently with a team of biologists returning to the cave near Albany where the first bats infected with white nose were discovered. He sent this audio postcard.  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
An infected bat at the Greeley Mine in Vermont (Photo: USFWS)
An infected bat at the Greeley Mine in Vermont (Photo: USFWS)

As bats return to winter caves, white-nose disease expected to spread fast

Last week, the US Fish & Wildlife Service issued preliminary guidelines urging roughly two-dozen states to prepare for the arrival of "white nose syndrome." That's the deadly fungal disease that has wiped out bat colonies across northern New York and Vermont. White nose was first discovered in a cave near Albany. Some of the hardest hit sites are in the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains, where researchers estimate that hundreds of thousands of animals have died. Brian Mann spoke yesterday with Jeremy Coleman, with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Coleman is the national coordinator for the hundreds of scientists working to develop a response to white nose syndrome.  Go to full article

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