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GLIN==> New Report On Aquatic Nuisance Species Released For Great Lakes Policymakers

November 15, 2002

New Report On Aquatic Nuisance Species Released For Great Lakes Policymakers

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Aquatic invasive species pose one of the greatest risks
to the health and productivity of our Great Lakes, and threaten economic
losses that total in the billions of dollars. In response to that threat, a
new report (http://www.iaglr.org/scipolicy/ais/) summarizes the state of the
current science and challenges governments to take action.

The report, titled Research and Management Priorities for Aquatic Invasive
Species in the Great Lakes, was released today by the International
Association for Great Lakes Research, under funding from The Joyce
Foundation. It is targeted at Great Lakes policymakers in an effort to
strengthen the science-policy linkage.

"Both U.S. and Canadian governments are calling for sound science as the
foundation for Great Lakes policy development," notes U.S. Sen. Debbie
Stabenow of Michigan. "This document not only translates the science on
aquatic invasive species, but it challenges governments to establish a
10-year goal to eliminate new introductions of aquatic invasive species and
to increase funding to advance our scientific understanding of the problem
and test technologies that would eliminate future introductions."

Specifically, the report concludes that a major federal funding increase of
at least $30 million per year is needed for the Great Lakes region to push
for rapid progress toward solutions to the aquatic nuisance species
problems. It presents a range of recommendations, from the need for
effective, practical ballast water treatment standards and test platforms,
to upgrading the barrier between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes
to prevent movement of exotic species, such as the three species of Asian
carp that are just 17 miles from the only barrier to Lake Michigan.

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan notes his agreement with the report's
conclusion about aquatic invasive species' disastrous economic and
environmental impacts on the lakes. "I have introduced invasive species
legislation which I believe is in line with many of the findings and
recommendations of this report," he says.

The report also recommends additional research involving genetics, shifts in
patterns of trade, and an assessment of potential invader organisms.

"Current scientific knowledge is essential to strengthen the science-policy
linkage in the Great Lakes Basin and promote better management of one-fifth
of the World's standing freshwater," notes Sen. Stabenow.

Since 1967, IAGLR has served as the focal point for compiling and
disseminating multidisciplinary knowledge on North America's Laurentian
Great Lakes and other large lakes of the world. IAGLR communicates this
knowledge through publication of the Journal of Great Lakes Research
(established in 1975), sponsorship of an annual conference on Great Lakes
research (begun in 1953), and development of a suite of science-policy
resources created through its Great Lakes Science-Policy Initiative, funded
by The Joyce Foundation.

The association's membership has grown from 225 scientists in 1968 to more
than 900 scientists, policymakers, engineers, resource managers and graduate
students from the United States, Canada and 20 other countries around the
world in 2002. In addition, IAGLR's membership includes more than 250
libraries throughout the world. IAGLR is a nonprofit organization supported
primarily by membership dues, private donations and income generated from
its annual conferences.

Dr. David Reid, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Great Lakes
Environment Research Laboratory, (734) 741-2019

Dr. Hugh MacIsaac, University of Windsor, Great Lakes Institute, (519)
253-4232, ext. 2734

Dr. John Gannon, International Joint Commission, (519) 257-6711

Dr. John Hartig, River Navigator for the Greater Detroit American Heritage
River Initiative, (313) 568-9594

Aquatic Invasive Species Report:  http://www.iaglr.org/scipolicy/ais/
This Press Release: http://www.iaglr.org/hot/pr/021115_1.php
Great Lakes Science-Policy Initiative:
IAGLR Web Site:  http://www.iaglr.org

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