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


Canada's Royal Botanical Gardens sit near the western end of Lake Ontario, just a short drive from the U.S. border. When the weather is warm, visitors come to see acres of gardens with roses, lilacs and other collections in bloom.

In the winter, it’s much quieter. But scientists stay busy, protecting wetlands from destructive carp. And they're using an unusual weapon: Christmas trees.

The past year was loaded with turmoil for the Great Lakes. A new president tried to cut $300 million in  restoration projects. Homes were flooded along Lake Ontario. And one of the scariest invasive species -- the Asian carp -- was found less than 10 miles from Lake Michigan.

Here's a look at some of the biggest stories that Great Lakes Today brought you -- from New York to Minnesota, as well as the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. 

Invasive garlic mustard -- love it or leave it?

Dec 15, 2017
Credit: Rebecca Thiele

Invasive plants and animals are an expensive problem in the United States -- federal agencies spent more than $104 million last year to control them.

But a recent study on invasive garlic mustard shows that it might sometimes be better to leave invasive species alone.

Dave Sandford

The Great Lakes offer lots of spookiness -- from century-old shipwrecks to blood-sucking animals. For Halloween, we pulled together some of the creepiest photos. Take a look -- if you dare.

Submitted Art Paul Zybczynski

There’s some bad news in the Great Lakes and it’s all about the sea lamprey, an eel-like creature that literally sucks the life out of fish. They do a lot of damage and now they’re on the rise in some lakes.

That trend has stumped scientists.