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