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GLIN==> Press Release: WWF Applauds DNR Determination to Regulate Ballast Water Discharges

February 25, 2008 

Contact: George Meyer, Executive Director, 608-516-5545

Wisconsin Wildlife Federation Applauds DNR Determination to Regulate
Ballast Water Discharges

Poynette: The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation applauds the determination
of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that it “has legal
authority to regulate ballast water discharges under the Wisconsin
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System” and that it will be developing
discharge permits for international ships in order to eliminate the
release of invasive species into Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.

On December 4, 2007 the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation in conjunction
with twelve state, national and local conservation groups requested the
Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources to
require permits for the discharge of ballast water containing aquatic
invasive species and diseases from international ships into the
Wisconsin portions of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.  The other
organizations petitioning the Board were the Wisconsin Federation of
Great Lake Sport Fishing Clubs, the Wisconsin Council of Sportfishing
Organizations, the River Alliance of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin State
Council of Trout Unlimited, Walleyes for Tomorrow, Midwest Environmental
Advocates, Wisconsin Association of Lakes, Winnebago Land Conservation
Alliance, Wisconsin Environment and Lakeshore Fisherman Sports Club Ltd.

The request identified that current state law (the Wisconsin Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System) requires that anyone discharging
“biological materials” such as aquatic invasive species and
diseases into Wisconsin waters requires a discharge permit and treatment
for the ballast water. The State of Michigan has previously required
such permits for international ships discharging ballast water into
Michigan water of the Great Lakes. The request also petitioned the
Natural Resources Board to modify any state rules if necessary to go
forward with a discharge permit program.

Over one hundred and eighty-six invasive species and diseases have been
introduced into the Great Lakes since they have been opened to Great
Lakes shipping. It is projected that many of those species have been
introduced through the release of ballast water taken on in foreign
waters. Such species include the zebra mussel, the quagga mussel, the
round goby, the white perch, spiny water flea and possibly VHS. The
introduction of these species into the Great Lakes has cost businesses,
municipalities and sportsmen and women hundreds of millions of dollars
and has significantly threatened the $2.9 billion sports fishing
industry in Wisconsin.

“Sportsmen and women truly appreciate the efforts of the Natural
Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources to fully
implement state law regulating the discharge of ballast water into the
Great Lakes,” stated Lil Pipping, President of the Wisconsin Wildlife
Federation. “Aquatic invasive species have had a devastating impact on
the Great Lakes and the inland lakes of Wisconsin. It is time to prevent
further invasive species from getting into our waters.”

The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation is made up of one hundred and sixty
hunting, fishing and trapping organizations in Wisconsin and is the
state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. The Federation is
dedicated to conservation education and the advancement of sound
conservation policies. For further information, contact George Meyer,
Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation at


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