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University of Windsor invasive species research centre closes
CBC News (5/27)
The Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species, based at the University of Windsor, is closing because it's run out of federal funding.

Stockbridge HS invention to monitor Great Lakes pest
Lansing State Journal (5/27)
In Michigan, a team of Stockbridge High School students has spent the past year designing an underwater camera to keep tabs on the state’s fight against invasive sea lampreys. Next week their invention will get its first real test.

'Once in a lifetime ' experience: Lighthouse keeper on Lake Superior
CBC News (5/19)
A group is hiring two students to serve as lighthouse keepers this summer on Porphyry Island, about 40 kilometers east of Thunder Bay, Ont.

Superior students set sail for hands-on learning about St. Louis River, Lake Superior
Wisconsin Public Radio (5/16)
Close to 1,500 students from northern Minnesota and Wisconsin set sail for a day on St. Louis River to learn about the Great Lakes, as part of the week-long St. Louis River Quest.

Tree group aims to ‘ReLeaf’ Michigan
WKAR - East Lansing, MI (5/10)
An Ann Arbor-based organization has been planting trees all over Michigan since 1988. ReLeaf Michigan helps property owners learn about trees and how to plant them, citing their numerous benefits.

Coldwater bacteria threatens Great Lakes salmon
Charlevoix Courier (5/3)
A new study shows a bacterial disease that sickens fish whether raised in captivity or in the wild is imperiling popular salmon species in the Great Lakes Basin.

TEACH Calendar of Events
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TEACH Invasive Species

table of contents
Introduction
The Zebra Mussel
Other species making headlines
How do invasive species get here?
Prevention and control
How can you prevent the spread of nonindigenous species?
References and more information

If you live on the Great Lakes or in a similar coastal area, you've no doubt heard of zebra mussels or sea lamprey. Chances are you've also seen patches of purple loosestrife growing in your community or on the side of a local highway. You might not have recogized this attractive flowering plant as a non-native species, but it is. Although pretty to look at, these purple stalks are choking out native plant species by overtaking and altering their habitat.

Sea Lamprey. Click to see larger image.These are just three of the more than 140 nonindigenous, or invasive, species that have become established in and around the Great Lakes since the 1800s. In fact, due in large part to increases in the volume of shipping traffic, the introduction of new "exotic" species has increased dramatically over the past 50 years. More than 87 nonindigenous aquatic species have been accidentally introduced into the Great Lakes in the 20th Century alone. Once introduced, invasive species must be managed and controlled, as they are virtually impossible to eradicate.

While many non-native species have no serious ecological impact, the introduction of a single key species can, as in the example of the sea lamprey, cause a sudden and dramatic shift in the entire ecosystem's structure. New species can significantly change the interactions between existing species (and between those species and their non-living environment), creating ecosystems that are unstable and unpredictable.

Graphic: Sea Lamprey shown attached to a lake trout. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

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