This report summarizes a team effort to identify methods and actions to prevent new exotic species from entering Lake Superior. The plan seems to acknowledge that introduction of AIS is a result of generally unintentional human behavior, and is therefore preventable. Key contents of the report are extracted and reproduced below. Abstract: “Situated at the head of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system, a 2,342 mile long (3,700 km) water navigation system connected to global trade, Lake Superior is at risk for continued invasion by aquatic invasive species (AIS), including plants, animals, and microscopic organisms. As of April 2010, 89 non-native aquatic species have been found in Lake Superior. These include Eurasian watermilfoil, sea lamprey, and most recently, the fish disease Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS). AIS have caused devastating economic and ecosystem effects that impart significant losses to the region in the form of damage and control costs, degraded water quality, job losses, declining property values, compromised native species, decreased biodiversity, and other negative impacts. “This Lake Superior Aquatic Invasive Species Complete Prevention Plan outlines recommended actions that need to be newly implemented, in addition to existing efforts, to prevent new aquatic invasive species from entering and becoming established in the Lake Superior ecosystem. Through the process of developing this plan, Canadian and U.S. government agencies involved in the Lake Superior Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) have consulted broadly and have developed recommendations for consideration by each jurisdiction. However, citizens, organizations and government agencies in both Canada and the United States need to work together to implement the recommended actions and ensure that protecting Lake Superior from new invasive species is a top priority for all. The Lake Superior LAMP will utilize an adaptive management approach to monitoring implementation progress and overall effectiveness of this prevention plan. “Key recommended actions for the United States and Canada include: ● Implement compatible, federal regulatory regimes for ballast water discharge that are protective of the Great Lakes for both the U.S. and Canada. ● Support the development, testing and implementation of effective ballast treatment systems that meet the operational characteristics of Great Lakes ships. ● Establish federal screening processes for organisms in trade to classify species into three lists: prohibited, permitted, and conditionally prohibited/permitted. ● Establish an immediate moratorium on the trade of prohibited species. ● Consider the concept of a “Certified Pathogen-Free through Raising from Seed” category for plants sold through garden centers and nurseries. ● Expand or implement education programs to increase consumer awareness of the risk of AIS. ● Require permits for shoreline restoration projects, which identify AIS introduction issues and include best management practices and restrictions that minimize the potential for introducing invasive species. ● Implement education programs to raise awareness of the issue and promote compliance with prevention actions among contractors and residents. ● Ensure that existing laws prohibiting the sale of invasive species are enforced for on-line and mail order purchases of aquatic plants. ● To prevent the illegal transport of bait across the U.S./Canadian border and on shared waters, ensure effective education and prevention efforts at border crossings and at retail bait shops, and conduct monitoring to gauge the effectiveness of such efforts. ● Make AIS prevention education, regulation, and enforcement a priority in all Lake Superior jurisdictions, and implement prevention approaches that target specific audiences (e.g., boaters, anglers, professional fishing guides, plant nurseries). ● Build capacity for education and enforcement efforts within local communities by providing outreach products that can be tailored for local use, and coordinate consistent messaging across jurisdictions. ● Explore options for a broad range of prevention measures at public boat launches. ● Review and adjust policies for the operation of the locks at Sault Ste. Marie to include best management practices that effectively prevent fish from passing through the locks, including closing the upper and lower gates when not in use and the use of in-stream barriers or deterrent technologies, if necessary. ● Investigate options to achieve ecological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds to protect the Great Lakes from the invasion of Asian carp. ● Until ecological separation is achieved, maintain the electric barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal at optimum conditions and ensure their continued operation. ● Establish structural measures to prevent the inadvertent introduction of Asian carp from floodwaters of the Des Plaines River into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. ● Adapt invasive species management to the challenge of a changing climate – monitor ecosystem changes, coordinate information resources, and engage in further research.”
Lake Superior Binational Program.
Lake Superior Aquatic Invasive Species Complete Prevention Plan.
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