Invasive Species

Credit US Department of Agriculture

The Great Lakes ecosystem has been severely damaged by more than 180 invasive and non-native species. Species such as the sea lamprey, zebra mussel and alewife degrade habitat, out-compete native species and damage the fishing industry.

Ways to Connect

Can we sell cattails -- and save wetlands?

Oct 28, 2016

Standing in the middle of Michigan's Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, it’s hard to comprehend the size. It’s about two-thirds the size of Manhattan – some 10,000 acres of marshes and bogs, forest and farm land.

Everywhere you look; there’s a hawk or a heron. Bushes rustle with rodents; and the air is filled with mosquitos.

Here, researchers are tackling invasive cattails -- a common problem in wetlands across the Great Lakes.  

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Ontario's environmental watchdog has some harsh words about the government's handling of invasive species in the Great Lakes and other areas.

In a sweeping report issued this week, Dianne Saxe, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario,
says that "with few exceptions, there is little indication that the Ontario government is taking concrete actions to prevent the introduction of invaders, detect them early on in an invasion, or manage and monitor species that are already doing damage."

NYS DEC / Hydrilla

The Great Lakes Commission created a web tool designed to prevent sales of aquatic invasive species over the Internet. Now, the commission is working to get it into the hands of state and federal regulators.


Brendan Walsh

Invasive species -- ranging from sea lamprey to Asian carp -- are a constant concern in the Great Lakes region, and the fear of these aquatic creatures often dominates headlines.

There are lots of invasive species vying for the public’s attention -- especially in the Great Lakes -- so researchers trying to raise awareness about a tiny aquatic animal called the spiny water flea have to get creative.


Pages