The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is poised to do the right thing on aquatic invasive species -- but it needs your support to counter opposition from a stubborn shipping industry.
Ships use ballast water to maintain their balance. But when they discharge this water collected from ports around the world, they release invasive species that have hitched rides along the way -- up to 4,000 in a single tank. These invasives can change water chemistry and disrupt food webs. They can out-compete imperiled wildlife such as salmon and steelhead. And they can wreak economic havoc by clogging water intakes, locks and dams.
While federal agencies currently require ships to treat ballast water prior to discharge, the low level of treatment isn't enough. Oregon DEQ has proposed a partial solution: rules that require ships at high risk of discharging invasives into freshwater ports to flush their ballast water out at sea.
October 6, 2016 Action Alert ID# 434
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