Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Sunday, 02.25.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3
 4  5  6  7  8  9  10
 11  12  13  14  15  16  17
 18  19  20  21  22  23  24
 25  26  27  28  29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

May 09,2008
Stowaway species
by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Although we have supported states acting to stem the flow of invasive species into the Great Lakes by more closely regulating the ballast water of oceangoing freighters, the best way to address the issue is at the federal level. And at long last, the feds are starting to move.

The House recently passed the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, which would, among other things, require all ships entering U.S. waters to treat their ballast water to get rid of foreign species along for the ride. The Senate now needs to act - and act soon - before the politics of an election year overwhelm all other business.

As the Journal Sentinel's Dan Egan pointed out in a recent article, the measure covers all U.S. ports but would be particularly significant for the Great Lakes, which have been hit hard by invasive species since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened the lakes to global traffic in 1959.

Ballast is used to stabilize less-than-full cargo vessels on the open seas. It poses an environmental hazard because species can be sucked into a ship's ballast tanks at one port and discharged in exchange for cargo when it arrives at the next port.

Scientists have found that the overwhelming majority of invaders into the planet's largest freshwater system since 1970 have arrived in oceangoing ballast tanks. The lakes are now home to more than 180 non-native species, and the problem gets worse every year; a new species is discovered in the lakes, on average, about every six months. Species such as the zebra mussel have changed the nature of the Great Lakes habitat and have caused billions of dollars in damage. House passage of the legislation was praised by environmental groups. "These standards and timeline are both aggressive and achievable, and this is exactly the type of strong legislation the environmental community has championed for years," said Corry Westbrook, legislative director for the National Wildlife Federation, in a news release.

The overwhelming support in the House (which approved the measure 395-7) needs to be duplicated in the Senate because President Bush has promised to veto the measure, largely over issues unrelated to the ballast part of the bill. Fortunately, sufficient support may be there, and both of Wisconsin's senators said they were eager to see a new law to protect the Great Lakes.

But the Senate needs to act soon to ensure that the lakes and other U.S. waterways open to invasive species from oceangoing freighters get the protection they need.

Reprinted from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – CNS.

1067 times read

Related news
Great Lakes' water level costs shippers by UPI posted on Jan 28,2008

Oregon Zoo establishes endangered species justice fund by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Feb 16,2007

Program to Slow Spread of Invasive New Zealand Mudsnail in Deschutes River by Bend Weekly News Sources posted on Oct 05,2006

Stage set for first override of Bush veto by UPI posted on Nov 07,2007

Disease opened door to invading species in California, Pacific Northwest by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Mar 16,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 37 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?