Fighting Invasive Species
in the Great Lakes
Great Lakes restoration investments are fighting invasive species, but there is more work to do. Asian carp are on the doorstep of the lakes. We can’t cut funding now—delays will only make problems more expensive and harder to solve.
Federal Investments are Fighting Invasive Species
Once established, invasive species like Phragmites, zebra mussels, and sea lamprey are impossible to eradicate. Therefore, federal efforts are focused on reducing the spread of these species or preventing them from entering the lakes in the first place. Currently, federal investments are working to keep non-native Asian carp out of the lakes and control invasive plants like Phragmites on 100,000 acres in the region.
But Serious Threats Remain
Asian carp is perhaps the most serious invasive species threat to the Great Lakes. The non-native carp are in the Illinois River, which is artificially connected to the Great Lakes by a series of shipping canals. In some parts of the Illinois River, Asian carp make up 90 percent of the life in the river, having out-competed and out-eaten native species. Investments from the federal government are needed to keep Asian carp at bay, while also enforcing strong regulations on invasive-species-filled ballast water.
Contact Your Member of Congress
Let your members of congress know they should take action to protect the Great Lakes! Find out how to contact your senators and representative here. Tell them:
- The Great Lakes are our most important source of fresh water, providing drinking water to 30 million people. We must continue our efforts to clean and restore them.
- Although we have made progress the lakes still face serious threats.
- We can’t afford to stop now. These projects to clean up our lakes will only get harder and more expensive the longer we wait.
FEATURED SUCCESS STORY
Barrier Will Help Reduce the Sea Lamprey Population
A barrier installed in northern Indiana’s Trail Creek will reduce the number of sea lamprey in Lake Michigan, where the blood-sucking invaders prey on fish.