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Great Lakes Article:

Editorial: Strong action needed on lakes' invasive species
Port Clinton News Herald (OH)
Published October 28th, 2004

Environmental activists are sounding the alarm about the rapidly increasing invasion of the Great Lakes by species that are not native to the area.

Scientists say 162 aquatic invasive species have made their way into the lake system and many are thriving in our precious waters.

Experts claim that the invasive species are arriving at a rate of one new species every eight months. Most arrived at the ballast tanks of ships from abroad.

Some believe the invasion is as big a threat to the lakes as the toxic pollution that helped prompt the effort that produced the Clean Water Act.

Serious implications can be seen.

According to experts, there has been a major decline in the population of four species that make up 99 pecent of the Great Lakes food web's foundation.

The huge drop-off is being called "unprecedented" by a National Wildlife Foundation report.

Such a stunning change in the lakes threatens to have a serious impact on the existing fishery.

That, of course, could have a serious impact on the area's economy and quality of life.

In addition, other effects such as infrastructure covered with zebra mussels and dead species littering beaches, could have a range of negative implications.

This is a serious matter that must be addressed.

Our leaders need to fully understand the potential impact and address the situation appropriately.

Panicky reaction isn't the answer.

But firm steps are undoubtedly needed.

Area members of Congress need to take the lead in addressing this issue, and local officials need to make sure they do.

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