Congress must enact stricter controls and set federal standards for how ballast water is handled by oceangoing ships. And a concerted effort must be made to find technology that would keep such ships from continuing to bring in invasive species, such as zebra mussels, that have done so much serious damage to the Great Lakes since the seaway was opened in 1959.
But those pushing to close the seaway - the conservation group Great Lakes United called for an overseas-freighter ban in late March - forget that the seaway provides economic benefits.
Yeah, benefits we'd lose from that closing ($55 million per year)--
And costs --
Invasive species also cost the Great Lakes region $5 billion annually in damage and control costs, according to the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy released in December 2005.
Get out your calculator...$55 million benefits...$5 billion costs...sounds like a draw, doesn't it?