Friday, August 08, 2014

How Invasive Species Changed the Great Lakes Forever

"June 1, 1988, the day everything changed for the Great Lakes, was sunny, hot and mostly calm — perfect weather for the young researchers from the University of Windsor who were hunting for critters crawling across the bottom of Lake St. Clair."

So begins the article by Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel about the "Watershed Moment" that changed the Great Lakes forever. This extensive article discusses how aquatic invasive species entered the Great Lakes System and changed the ecosystem, and what can begun to protect against future invaders.

This article is the first of four parts. Read all of the parts using these links:
  1. How invasive species changed the Great Lakes forever June 1, 1988 is the day everything changed for the Great Lakes — the day it began to dawn on researchers that the lakes were in for a massive invasion.
  2. Formidable invasive species won’t be easy to keep out of Great Lakes How do you protect the Great Lakes from being invaded by exotic organisms hitchhiking in the bowels of overseas freighters? With great difficulty.
  3. Park chief put foot down on invasive species. Can others follow suit? A national park superintendent issued a tough edict to the park’s Lake Superior ferry captain: Shape up the ship, or don’t sail. Can the government do the same?
  4. Leaping out of the lakes: Invasive mussels spread across America How quagga mussels put a serious bite on a Wisconsin man moving a boat across the West.

New Invasive Aquatic Plant Management Guide available

A new resource is available for lake stewards and managers: Maine Citizens' Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plant Management. It covers readiness assessment, determining the best manual control strategy, hiring staff, developing an action plan, and much more. Plus, provides a number of case studies.
"Once an infestation has been confirmed, rapid response is crucial. The prospects for effective management or even eradication, is greatly increased by swift, well-planned, and properly executed controls. The purpose of the Citizens’ Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plant Management is to provide the information necessary to effectively manage invasive aquatic plant (IAP) populations; to prepare for such an eventuality; and to address all associated activities. Methods described in this Guide are based upon tested best management practices for controlling aquatic plants effectively and in a manner that protects wildlife and habitat." (Maine VLMP)

Visit Maine's Volunteer Lake Assessment Program's Citizen's Guide web page for more information and to download the PDF version of the Guide.
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Source: Jacolyn Bailey, Project Director at Maine Milfoil Initiative / Saint Joseph's College