Foreign Species in Ballast Water: Threat to Our Health, Economy,
In 1991, the waters of Mobile, Alabama, were contaminated with
a deadly bacteria. In 1988, residents of Monroe, Michigan, turned
on their faucets to find that they had no water because mollusks
had completely clogged up the water system. The cause was invasive
species that quietly sneaked into this country in a ship’s
Experts believe that, every minute, 40,000 gallons of foreign ballast
water contaminate U.S. waters – likely the single largest
source of foreign species invading America’s ecosystem. While,
on the surface, these species may seem harmless, they wreak havoc
on local ecosystems. The natural balance and controls of an ecosystem
are usually not equipped to deal with these invasive species. The
result of a successful foreign species invasion in an ecosystem
can be devastating to local economies and, because large volumes
of dangerous bacteria and viruses have been found in ballast water,
it also can be a serious threat to human health.
|This website offers the tools necessary for you to introduce and
pass legislation to manage the release of ballast water into your
state’s waters, including a model bill, talking points, a fact
pack, research, and background information.
We may have other
useful materials on this subject which are not posted on our website.
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or call our office in Madison, WI at (608) 252-9800.
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