The path most invasive species take to get into the Great Lakes, the ballast waters of ships, may be close to being shut down -and it is thanks to many of you! The House passed the Ballast Water Management Act, which is a part of the Coast Guard Authorization measure (HR 2830). This bill is an example of how, when we continually speak out, our voices make a difference. According to lead Great Lakes lobbyist in D.C., Chad Lord with National Parks Conservation Association, the bill made “incredible progress” from its original version due to the Great Lakes environmental community’s continual input. It creates a ballast water management program that is superior to the current Coast Guard program, establishes for the first time strong ballast water treatment standards in statute, sets a national goal that ballast water discharged into U.S. waters contain no living organisms by the year 2015, and includes other important provisions.
But this isn’t a done deal. Now is the time to keep up the pressure to make sure this gets done this year by passing the Senate and getting it to the president’s desk for his signature. Stay tuned for key opportunities to finish this deal.