Green bloggers agree: environmental disaster looms large for Great Lakes
This frightening scenario could prove to be a much more realistic possibility than previously thought. The problems of global warming and pollution are being compounded by a massive ecological upheaval due to an increase in invasive species sneaking into the Great Lakes in the belly of international ocean-liners.
A recent post by respected environmental blog Treehugger spoke of an article in a Milwaukee newspaper that noted the growing environmental frustration within the community. “Frustrated by the mounting number of invasive species arriving in the bellies of overseas freighters, some conservationists are proposing a simple but radical solution: ban the ships from the Great Lakes until they can figure out how to stop discharging contaminated ballast water.” While an outright ban on foreign freighters may seem to be a dramatic step, the movement towards such a ban is rapidly gaining credibility not just with local environmentalists, but fisherman, recreational boaters and property owners.Treehugger's post also details the creation of a group called Great Lakes United. The post also quotes Jennifer Nalborn, a spokeswomen for the group, stating that the influx of foreign species was one of the main reasons that the group was created, “this is a decision we've made because the federal government has failed to protect the Great Lakes. New foreign species, meanwhile, continue to be discovered in the Great Lakes at a rate of about one every six months” Climate Progress, a well-respect green blog pointed to climate change as another massive calamity facing the Great Lakes and its surrounding population. “As global average temperatures increase and sea levels rise, water levels in the Great Lakes have been projected to drop, possibly falling five feet.” Rising water levels alone are not expected to be the only concern for residents on the shores of the Great Lakes. The post also notes, “Notoriously cold winters in Michigan are expected to warm by 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and summers by 13 degrees.”
While such an increase may lead some locals to welcome to onset of Global Warming as an alternative to ice cold winters, such a radical shift in temperature would impact the year-round climate of the Great Lakes region and could have catastrophic repercussions within one of the few remaining high-profit industries unique to that area: sportfishing. The post warns that, “populations of cold-water fish (like trout) will be impacted by the warming waters, which means weekend fishing trips and the fishing industry will feel the hurt (as a sport, estimated to be worth $4.5 billion).”As if these dire warnings weren't enough, a post from Cleanergy.org details the results of a new global warming study from the World Meteorological Association alleging that drought has resulted in the creation of desert-like conditions in and around the Great Lakes region. “Across the USA, moderate-to-exceptional drought persisted throughout parts of the south-west desert and eastward through the southern plains, also developing in areas west of the Great Lakes.”