Governor Signs Legislation to Protect
“Those who rely on the
Vessels often take in thousands of gallons of ballast water
to stabilize the ship when traveling without cargo. The ballast water is
then released in port as new cargo is loaded, potentially releasing millions of
live organisms into the lake. Often these invasive species have no
natural predators in their new environment and can crowd out native species,
cause environmental damage, or transport foreign disease or parasites.
There are currently more than 160 identified non-native species in the
“Invasive species cost literally billions of dollars to control once they are introduced to the Great Lakes ecosystem, and often, trying to control them is a losing battle,” said Ken DeBeaussaert, director of the Office of Great Lakes.
“These new laws are the right thing to do to protect the lakes, and it makes economic sense to spend money on keeping invasive species out, rather than the much larger cost of trying to control them once they are here,” added Steven Chester, director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
House Bill 4603 (Public Act 32 of 2005) and Senate Bill 332
(Public Act 33 of 2005) mandate that all oceangoing vessels apply for a permit
from the DEQ before being allowed to use
Granholm commended Representatives Kathleen Law
(D-Gibraltar) and Matt Gillard (D-Alpena) and Senators Ray Basham (D-Taylor)
and Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor) for their work on this issue. Each has
introduced a resolution calling on the Coast Guard to join in this fight by
eliminating exemptions that allow many ships to enter the
HB 4603 was sponsored by Representative David Palsrok
(R-Manistee). SB 332 was sponsored by Senator Patty Birkholz (
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