The Department of Natural Resources today announced the addition of seven species to Michigan’s prohibited species list of aquatic invasive species. An additional species already on the list was also modified from a prohibited species to a restricted species.
Any species considered for listing as prohibited or restricted must be not native to Michigan. Prohibited species generally are not present or are in very limited areas, whereas restricted species are generally widespread and naturalized within the state.
• Stone moroko – part of the minnow family, this species is a known carrier of a parasite that can negatively impact other fishes.
• Zander – a close relative of the walleye, this species could compete with the native fish or reproduce with it and create a hybrid.
• Wels catfish – this fish is considered a serious danger to native fish populations.
• Killer shrimp – this species is an aggressive predator and could severely threaten the trophic levels of the Great Lakes by preying on a range of invertebrates.
• Yabby – this large crayfish would negatively impact other crayfish species.
• Golden mussel – similar to zebra and quagga mussels, this species has destructive qualities that would threaten native biodiversity.
• Red swamp crayfish – this species can quickly dominate waterbodies and is virtually impossible to eradicate.
Additionally, rusty crayfish were moved from prohibited to restricted classification to allow for their limited possession for the purpose of destroying them for consumption, fertilizer or trash. This species already is widespread throughout the state, yet regulations previously didn’t allow for the collection of them for consumptive purposes.
Jim Bloch reports on concerns about sitting nuclear waste near the Great Lakes. Here is an excerpt from The Voice:
‘This resolution uses similar language as the state of Michigan Senate Resolution 58, which does not outright oppose OPG’s proposed deep underground nuclear dump, but does raise serious concerns about its proximity to the Great Lakes, and quotes Michigan law that would prohibit such a dump in that location,” said Kay Cumbow, an anti-nuclear activist who advocated for the St. Clair County resolution.
The county resolution echoes much of the Senate resolution: “As part of an effort to protect water quality, Michigan’s siting criteria for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste prohibits any site located within ten miles of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, the Saint Mary’s River, the Detroit River, the St. Clair River, or Lake St. Clair. It also excludes sites located within a 500-year floodplain, located over a sole source aquifer, or located where the hydrogeology beneath the site discharges groundwater to the land surface within 3,000 feet of the boundaries of the site.”
But the county board is somewhat softer that the Michigan Senate in its recommendations to OPG and Canadian officials.
“We encourage Canada to consider similar siting criteria,” the Senate resolution said.’
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Adaptive Management task force have come to conclusions on how to manage the Great Lakes as a resource in lieu of atmospheric changes we are experiencing today and their effects on us. ‘Instead of fighting nature, we need to figure out better ways to comfortably live alongside its changes.’ As lake levels will change our ability to adapt to these changes is a topic of debate – we can adapt to changes or struggle to maintain the status quo through engineering. The following is an excerpt from SODUS on the upcoming webinar focus on these changes in the Great Lakes:
The bi-national Adaptive Management Plan responds to changing climate and the limited ability to alter lake levels through regulation of flows from Lake Superior and Lake Ontario. “Our climate is changing and increases in temperature and alterations in patterns of precipitation are likely to affect water levels in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River,” says U.S. co-chair of the Adaptive Management Task Team, Debbie Lee. “There is strong evidence that in the future we will experience extreme water levels – both high and low – that are outside the historical range seen over the past century. Indeed, we have seen record low water levels this past January on Lakes Michigan and Huron.”
The most recent IJC studies on lake levels – the International Upper Great Lakes Study and the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study – both concluded that adaptive management is the best way to address the uncertainties associated with climate change and the potential impacts from extreme water levels. Adaptive management uses the information obtained from long-term monitoring and modelling to support the evaluation of plans, policies and practices and adjust them as knowledge improves or as conditions change. “The proposed Adaptive Management Plan is based on working collaboratively with Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River partners to gather and share critical information over time, assess the information with state-of-the art tools, develop adaptation strategies, measure our collective success in managing the impacts of extreme water levels and adapt accordingly”, explains Canadian co-chair, Wendy Leger. “We believe it is a cost-efficient and effective way to support decision-making aimed at reducing the risk to communities, the economy and the environment from extreme water levels.”
The Adaptive Management Task Team is seeking input from the public on the draft Adaptive Management Plan between March 15 and April 15, 2013. Following public comment, the Task Team will revise the Plan and forward it to the IJC for its consideration.