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Biological Integrity

Introduction

Aquatic Alien Invasive Species: Living with the Uncertainty of Biological Pollution in the Great Lakes

Creating a Regional Approach: What We Can Do Better

Implement a Great Lakes Biologically Protective Standard

Require Certification of Technology to Achieve the Standard

Require Enhanced Ballast Management Practices for No Ballast on Board (NOBOBs)

Promote Ongoing Regional Cooperation

Develop Measures to Ensure Compliance

Enlist the Assistance of the International Joint Commission

Recommendations

Microbial Contamination

Where are the Pathogens Coming From?

Detecting Pathogens and Assessing Risks

Gaps in Pathogen Detection

The Emergence of New Pathogens

The Walkerton Tragedy: A Lesson for the Great Lakes?

As Population Grows, Water Infrastructure Must Be Updated

Conclusions

Recommendation

Figures

 

Aquatic Alien Invasive Species

Recommendations

The governments take the following measures to eliminate the threat and impacts of aquatic alien invasive species in the Great Lakes:

Take immediate action to:

  • in the United States, pass the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act (NAISA)13 reauthorizing the National Invasive Species Act (NISA) of 1996;14
  • in Canada, implement the National Action Plan to address the threat of aquatic alien invasive species and finalize mandatory ballast water management practices; and
  • ratify and implement the International Maritime Organization’s Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, and pursue stringent measures and rapid timelines.

Issue a reference to the International Joint Commission to:

  • help identify the most effective ways to coordinate binational prevention efforts and harmonize national plans, particularly those dealing with residual ballast water and sediment in ballast tanks;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of current institutional arrangements;
  • assist with the establishment of a regional standard stronger than the minimum required by the International Maritime Organization Convention;
  • ensure that economic analyses carried out for projects with potential environmental effects include the environmental and societal costs of invasive species control, damage, and mitigation, and the costs and benefits of prevention measures; and
  • assist with public education and communications.

All levels of governments should create and implement coordinated planning actions to fully protect drinking water from increased pressures from industry, urban expansion, aging infrastructure and agriculture, including ecosystem and human health protection from large-scale animal operations.