Essay on Education as a Tool Against Nonnative Aquatic Species

Essay on Education as a Tool Against Nonnative Aquatic Species

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Water is one of the most essential resources in the world. It provides electricity and allows products to be shipped from remote recesses of the globe. However, one issue that comes with transporting goods from distant countries is the native species that get transported in the ballast tanks or attach themselves to the outer hull of the ship that is traveling. Ballast tanks are spaces in the bottom of ships that are filled with water to increase balance. When ballast tanks are filled with freshwater from their port of exit, there is a possibility of small larvae, called veligers, and even adult specimens being pulled into the tank. When these ships carrying aquatic animals from their native country arrive in North America, the water from the ballast tanks is expelled and then replenished allowing the now nonnative species to be introduced to North American waterways, particularly the Great Lakes. This unintentional release of invasive aquatic species costs the United States billions of dollars a year in damage (Cangelosi 69). To reduce the possibility of the introduction of these destructive species, there should be stricter laws regarding the inspection of ballast tank water and hulls, ballast water exchange (BWE), and compliance of these laws must be enforced to protect our country’s freshwater.
The most prolific, invasive, aquatic organisms are the zebra and quagga mussels. Native to Russia and Ukraine respectively, these mussels have been transplanted into water sources such as the North, Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black-Azov seas and subsequently North American freshwater rivers and lakes (Santagata et al. 346). Schloesser states that, “Lake St. Claire, western Lake Erie, and the Detroit River were invaded by zebra mussels i...


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....A.)." Conservation Biology 24.4 (2010): 931-937. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
Santagata, Scott, et al. "Concentrated Sodium Chloride Brine Solutions As An Additional Treatment For Preventing The Introduction Of Nonindigenous Species In The Ballast Tanks Of Ships Declaring No Ballast On Board." Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 28.2 (2009): 346-353. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2013.
Schloesser, D. W., et al. "Impact Of Zebra And Quagga Mussels (Dreissena Spp.) On Freshwater Unionids (Bivalvia: Unionidae) In The Detroit River Of The Great Lakes." American Midland Naturalist 140.2 (1998): 299-313. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2013.
Weeks, Jennifer. "Invasive Species." CQ Researcher 17 Feb. 2012: 153-76. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.
"Zebra Mussels." Nationalatlas.gov. United States Department of the Interior, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

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