Thursday, February 2, 2012

Report proposes dividing Great Lakes, Mississippi River

By John Flesher, AP Environmental Writer
The Associated Press

Traverse City, Mich. — Groups representing states and cities in the Great Lakes region on Tuesday proposed spending up to $9.5 billion on a massive engineering project to separate the lakes from the Mississippi River watershed in the Chicago area, describing it as the only sure way to protect both aquatic systems from invasions by destructive species such as Asian carp.

The organizations issued a report suggesting three alternatives for severing an artificial link between the two drainage basins that was constructed more than a century ago. Scientists say it has already provided a pathway for exotic species and is the likeliest route through which menacing carp could reach the lakes, where they could destabilize food webs and threaten a valuable fishing industry.

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Vermont Law School alum proposes a federal law to curb spread of invasive animal species

John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT –– Following a federal study released Monday showing pythons’ devastating impact on the Everglades, a new study by a Vermont Law School alumnus proposes a detailed comprehensive federal law to curtail invasive and exotic animal species that are causing environmental, economic and public health risks across the American landscape.

“Forget the war on drugs. What the United States needs is a war on invasive animal species,” writes Jane Graham, author of the study, titled “Snakes on a Plain, or in a Wetland: Fighting Back Invasive Nonnative Animals—Proposing a Federal Comprehensive Invasive Nonnative Animal Species Statute.” The article is published in Volume 25, Issue 1 of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal. ...

The article proposes a model federal law that calls for:

A “clean” list of species that are allowed into the country instead of the current “dirty” list that prohibits specific species.

A process that explains exactly how risk assessment decisions will be determined.

Uniform restrictions on exotic—and potentially all—animal ownership.

Increased public awareness of invasive animal laws.

Higher and uniform fines and criminal penalties for violations.

Methods to fund restoration of ecosystems damaged by invasive species.

Entrepreneurship and partnerships between government and private businesses. ...

Read the full story at link.


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