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Added by Erika Jensen , last edited by Erika Jensen on Mar 14, 2011  (view change)

The following updates were provided for the December 8-9, 2010 meeting of the Great Lakes Panel in Ann Arbor, Mich.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

[insert update here] 


U.S. Geological Survey

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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U.S. Coast Guard

The Department of Homeland Security, through the U.S. Coast Guard, is authorized by Congress to develop a national regulatory program to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nonindigenous species (NIS) into U.S. waters via ballast water discharges from vessels.  By direction of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA) and the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA), the Coast Guard has promulgated several regulations and continues to develop future regulations to address this issue.The current ballast water management requirements in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway system are among the most stringent in the world.  Mandatory ballast water regulations that include saltwater flushing, detailed documentation requirements, increased inspections, and civil penalties provide a comprehensive regulatory enforcement regime to protect the Great Lakes. U.S. and Canadian regulations now require all ships destined for Seaway and Great Lakes ports from beyond the exclusive economic zone to exchange all their ballast tanks at sea or flush their residuals. 

The [2009 Summary of Great Lakes Ballast Water Working Group|http://www.piersystem.com/posted/443/2009_Great_Lakes_Seaway_Ballast_Water_Working_Group_Report_Final.475699.pdf] documents the current state of ballast water enforcement on the Great Lakes.  This is one of a very few instances where there is an enforcement protocol in place that can result in complete compliance with a stated set of objectives or regulations.  As a result, the risk of a ballast water mediated introduction of aquatic invasive species into the Great Lakes has been mitigated to extremely low levels.

In addition to the current regulations and policies, the Coast Guard is engaged in a rulemaking that would set a performance standard for the quality of ballast water discharged in U.S. waters.  This rulemaking is being carried out under NANPCA and NISA, which authorize the Coast Guard to approve alternative ballast water management systems (BWMS) that are found to be at least as effective as mid-ocean ballast water exchange (BWE) in preventing NIS introductions.  The rulemaking is entitled "Standards for Living Organisms in Ships' Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters," and documents and public comments relating to the rulemaking can be found at http://dms.dot.gov under docket number USCG-2001-10486.  The Final Rule should be published in the Spring of 2011.

Additional information on Coast Guard involvement with ballast water enforcement/regulation can be found at District Nine Public Affairs (http://www.d9publicaffairs.com/go/doctype/443/31154/) and the Coast Guard Headquarters Environmental Standards Division (http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg522/cg5224/).

Contact:  Mr. Lorne Thomas, Governmental Affairs Officer, Ninth CG District (216) 902-6022, Lorne.W.Thomas@uscg.mil 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

[insert update here] 

Contact: Jim Galloway, 313-226-6760, Jim.E.Galloway@usace.army.mil

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA-GLERL scientists recently published an article the Journal of Great Lakes Research based on research studying the effects of "Dreissena and the disappearance of the spring phytoplankton bloom in Lake Michigan"


NOAA has been participating in AIS work under the GLRI.  See attachment of project summaries. 
Contact: Rochelle Sturtevant, 734-741-2287, rochelle.sturtevant@noaa.gov

National Park Service

See briefing paper in the attachments section of this page.

Additional NPS projects include:

The multi-park spiny water flea project (Dr. Charles Kerfoot, PI) received its final year of funding in 2010, and results will be analyzed and reported in the coming year.  A paper related to spiny water flea distribution in NPS and other waters was recently submitted for publication. NPS divers surveyed sites throughout Isle Royale to assess the distribution of zebra mussels, which were discovered in isolated locations in fall 2009.  To date, it appears the invasion is not widespread. NPS divers may have spotted a round goby in Isle Royale waters on one occasion, but were unable to collect a specimen for further verification. NPS continues to address invasive species concerns through various 2010 GLRI projects: 1) We are investigating avian die-offs near Sleeping Bear Dunes to better understand the dreissenid mussel and round goby links in the botulism pathway, 2) We are conducting benthic habitat mapping in the Great Lakes parks, with the intention of mapping dreissenid mussel distribution in park waters, if possible, 3) We are removing invasive plant species from park lands and wetlands, and engaging in new outreach efforts through invasive species educator positions, and  4) We are restoring key wetland complexes at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, in part through invasive species removal efforts .

Contact: Gary Vequist, 402-221-4856, gary_vequist@nps.gov.


Illinois Department of Natural Resources / Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

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Contact: Pat Charlebois, 847-242-6441, charlebo@illinois.edu.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in conjuction with the U.S. Geological Survey and Army Corps of Engineers investigated a natural inter-basin watershed connection that occurs during flood stage at the boundary between the watersheds of the Maumee River (Great Lakes drainage) and Wabash River (Mississippi drainage) at Ft. Wayne, Ind. This appears to be a very large connection that likely occurs relatively frequently, perhaps an annual connection. One of the main concerns is that adult Asian carp have been confirmed in the Wabash River just 20 miles from the basin boundary. In addition, a silver carp spawn was confirmed approximately 100 miles downstream of this area in late May 2010 and now there are an abundance of silver carp fingerlings in the lower portions of the Wabash.  Indiana DNR installed a mesh fence across a recently restored wetland complex known as Eagle Marsh in the fall of 2010 to block the movement of Asian carp into the Great Lakes watershed.  GLRI funds were used to fund the construction.

Under contract with DNR water samples were recently collected by Notre Dame in both the Maumee basin in Indiana and the upper Wabash basin to determin if Asian carp eDNA may be present.  Results of the sampling is not yet available.  A contract is also being developed with Purdue to study the movements of Asian carp in the upper Wabash River using transmitters implanted in fish and both active and passive receivers.  In addition Purdue will also be evaluating Asian carp spawning in the upper Wabash River and East Fork White River.  Both rivers are relatively small in size and discharge but appear to support Asian carp spawning.  Learning more about Asian carp spawning activities in these rivers may assist in predicting possible spawning locations around the Great Lakes should Asian carp become established.  All of these studies are funded through GLRI.        

Contact: Doug Keller, AIS Coordinator; Indiana Department of Natural Resources; 402 W. Washington St, Rm W273; Indianapolis, IN 46204; 317-234-3883; dkeller@dnr.in.gov.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment

The Michigan Department Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) released in October, 2010 a "Proposed Plan for the Prevention, Detection, Assessment, and Management of Asian Carps in Michigan Waters". The plan is available at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/AsianCarpManagementPlan_334348_7.pdf

The integration of the former Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality into the new DNRE is complete. Aquatic Invasive Species prevention and control activities in the state are now coordinated by an AIS Core Team from a number of divisions and departments, led by the Water Resources Division. The DNRE Wildlife Division is leading a grant under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative titled: "Rapid Response to Invasive Species".

Contact: Roger Eberhardt, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Office of the Great Lakes, P.O. Box 30473, Lansing, MI  48909; 517-335-4227; eberhardtr@michigan.gov.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

The 2010 Minnesota Legislature passed a new law (Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 84D.10) requiring the draining of boating-related equipment holding water and live wells and bilges by removing the drain plug before leaving waters of the state and transporting the watercraft and associated equipment on public roads. Drain plugs, bailers, valves, or other devices used to control drainage of water from ballast tanks, bilges, and live wells must be removed or opened while transporting watercraft on a public road. Marine sanitary systems and portable bait containers are excluded from this requirement. Draining of bait buckets still applies when leaving  designated infested waters. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is required to report to the Minnesota Legislature each odd-numbered year, on additional measures to protect state water resources from human transport of invasive species. The law went into effect July 1, 2010.

Contact: Luke Skinner, Invasive Species Program Supervisor, MN DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 25, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025; 651-259-5140; luke.skinner@state.mn.us

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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Contact: David Adams, 518-402-9149, djadams@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Ohio Department of Natural Resources 

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Contact: John Navarro, ODNR Division of Wildlife, 614-265-6346, john.navarro@dnr.state.oh.us

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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Contact: Jim Grazio, 814-217-9636. jagrazio@state.pa.us

Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks

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Contact: Isabelle Simard, 418-521-3907 # 4417, isabelle.simard@mddep.gouv.qc.ca.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 

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International Joint Commission

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Great Lakes Fishery Commission

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Great Lakes Commission

An update on GLP activites, as reported to the ANS Task Force at their fall meeting, is provided as an attachment to this page. The following is an update on other GLC AIS initiatives.

Envisioning a Chicago Area Waterway System for the 21st Century Project Update
The Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative are leading a project to develop and evaluate options for separating the Mississippi River and Great Lakes watersheds to prevent the transfer of aquatic invasive species via the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) while improving transportation, water quality and flood management. With support from a team of consultants, the project will provide a detailed evaluation of potential options for ecological separation, including their costs, benefits and impacts. These options will prevent the transfer of aquatic species while also maintaining, if not improving, other aspects of the system, including transportation of goods and people, water quality and flood management. The project is also engaging a broad stakeholder group to ensure a credible range of potential solutions is investigated and that benefits and costs of solutions are fully understood. The project began in July and is expected to take 18 months to complete. It will include three phases:

  • Phase I: Hire consulting team and establish Executive and Advisory Committees (July‐Dec. 2010)
  • Phase II: Identify and evaluate options for separation (Jan.‐Oct. 2011)
  • Phase III: Narrow and evaluate options, run models and prepare final reports (Oct.‐Dec. 2011)

We are currently in phase one. An Executive Committee and Advisory Committee has been established. The Executive Committee includes:

  • Gov. Pat Quinn, State of Illinois
  • Gov. Ted Strickland, State of Ohio
  • Mayor Richard M. Daley, City of Chicago
  • Mayor George Heartwell, City of Grand Rapids
  • Tim Eder, Executive Director, Great Lakes Commission
  • David Ullrich, Executive Director, Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

The first meeting of the project's Advisory Committee was held Oct. 21 in Chicago and included approximately 35 advisory committee members as well as additional representation from federal and Canadian agencies and other interested groups. We are also in the process of hiring our consulting team for phase II. This team will be responsible for developing options for separation and identifying their costs, benefits and impacts. This collaborative initiative has received funding from the Joyce Foundation, the Great Lakes Protection Fund, the C.S. Mott Foundation, the Frey Foundation, the Wege Foundation and the Great Lakes Fishery Trust.

One of our project goals is to support and complement the work of the Army Corps of Engineers under their Great Lakes and Mississippi River Inter‐Basin Study by defining, assessing and vetting options for ecological separation. The Corps is participating on our project Resource Group, which is comprised of governmental entities with strong interest in the project. Through this mechanism they will be informed and engaged as our project progresses. In the end, we hope that the work we do will inform the Corps study. Our project will be complete by Jan. 2012 and the Corps study is projected to be a five year study, dependent on Congressional appropriations.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Update

In 2009 President Obama proposed - and Congress approved funding for - the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), an unprecedented, multi-year program to restore the Great Lakes. The GLRI will help implement the comprehensive restoration strategy developed under the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, which projected a $20 billion cost for cleaning up the Great Lakes. One of the five primary target areas of the GLRI is funding for invasive species prevention and control. Congress provided $475 million for the Initiative's first year and as a result, hundreds of projects are starting up or are already underway across the region. We are now gearing up for the second year of the GLRI and the Administration has proposed only $300 million for FY2011. Regional organizations, including the Commission, are currently advocating to Congress to maintain level funding for the GLRI at $475 million in FY2011. We won't know the final funding level for year two until after the election and may not until the beginning of the new year.

Building Capacity for Phragmites Management and Control

Through a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment's (DNRE) Coastal Management Program, the Great Lakes Commission is leading a project, in partnership with the DNRE, to strengthen coordination and collaboration on the management and control of non-native phragmites. Central to the project is conduct of a regional invasive phragmites symposium coupled with an assessment of existing management efforts. The ultimate goal of project activities is to develop a strategic framework to advance implementation of a comprehensive phragmites management and control plan in Michigan, with relevance to the entire Great Lakes region. Based on information gathered through outcomes of the symposium and a management status assessment, the strategy will serve to facilitate information sharing, a basis for coordination of management initiatives and provide general guidance in identifying management priorities and opportunities. 
The strategic management framework on phragmites management and control framework will be offered as guidance for the Michigan DNRE in managing phragmites on a state level. In addition, the lessons learned from the overall process and the general structure of the framework will hold applicability to all jurisdictions facing similar challenges in the management and control of this pervasive, invasive plant. Coastal and inland lake managers and others stakeholders responsible for land management and ecosystem restoration and protection will be a primary target audience for engagement on this project. The symposium proceedings, the development of Michigan's state-wide strategic management framework, and our subsequent outreach to other jurisdictions represent a significant advancement towards a region-wide invasive phragmites management plan for the Great Lakes.

Contact: Kathe Glassner-Shwayder, 734-971-9135, shwayder@glc.org.

Canadian Federal

Transport Canada / Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Ballast Water Activities: Transport Canada (TC) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) continue to collaborate on a number of ongoing AIS projects in relation to Ballast Water. Canada ratified the Ballast Water Convention at the International Maritime Organization in April 2010, and continues to develop methodology to evaluate compliance with the proposed international ballast water discharge standards. Canada has funded land-based research at the Great Ships Initiative to examine if using ballast water treatment technologies in combination with ballast water exchange will provide a feasible means to enhance protection for Great Lakes' freshwater ports against AIS beyond the IMO D-2 discharge standard. Shipboard trials are being planned for the 2011 shipping season. Canada continues to examine the activities of domestic vessels as a vector for the introduction and/or spread of AIS to the Great Lakes. In collaboration with the University of Windsor, an intensive survey of the planktonic and benthic taxa resident at major ports in the Saint Lawrence River was undertaken in order to discern if there are any species present which pose a risk for invasion. We have also collected ~25 ballast water samples from inbound vessels from River ports to determine the density and diversity of entrained taxa. Transport Canada, the USCG, and both Seaway Corporations continue to cooperate in the joint enforcement program in Montreal. In 2009, 100% of vessels bound for the Great Lakes Seaway received a ballast tank exam. A total of 5450 ballast tanks, onboard 295 vessels, were sampled and had a 97.9% compliance rate. Vessels that failed to properly manage their ballast tanks were required to either retain the ballast water and residuals on board, treat the ballast water in an environmentally sound and approved manner, or return to sea to conduct a ballast water exchange. In addition, 100% of ballast water reporting forms were screened to assess ballast water history, compliance, voyage information and proposed discharge location. Vessel compliance rates continue to be high for the 2010 navigation season.
Non-Ballast Water AIS Activities: DFO, in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and McGill University, is conducting research and monitoring activities in the nearshore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to better understand the distribution, abundance, predators, and impacts of the bloody red shrimp (Hemimysis anomala) a recent invader of the Great Lakes. Additional studies are being carried out in collaboration with Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Grand Traverse Bay, to develop an effective sampling methodology for Hemimysis on cobble substrate and use this methodology to evaluate patterns of seasonal abundance and potential for competition with larval fish. Hemimysis has had significant impacts in invaded ecosystems in Europe, however, these are very different ecosystems from the Great Lakes. Current research is aimed at determining if ecological processes in the Great Lakes will moderate previously observed impacts. A forthcoming publication in Hydrobiologia presents what is known about the current North American distribution along with preliminary research on the feeding ecology of Hemimysis. Further research is on-going.

Centre of Expertise for Aquatic Risk Assessment (CEARA) - DFO's CEARA plans to continue with several pathway risk assessments: aquarium, water garden, baitfish, live food, ballast water and recreational boating, pending funding.  Risk assessments on ballast water for the Great Lakes and Arctic will be completed by spring 2011.  We also plan to continue participating in a larger project (led by Oregon Sea Grant) to gather data on the biological supply house as a potential pathway for AIS; the Great Lakes is one of the focus areas of that project.  A national level risk assessment for New Zealand Mud Snail has been finalized. CEARA is also leading a bi-national risk assessment for Asian carps which will target the Great Lakes to provide advice on key questions to inform prevention, monitoring and control actions.

Contacts:          Sarah Bailey, sarah.bailey@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
                        Chris Wiley, chris.wiley@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Tribal Authorities

Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority

CORA represents five tribes in Michigan with regard to the tribes' commercial and subsistence fisheries in the 1836 treaty-ceded waters of Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior.  The tribes which are party to the 1836 Treaty are the Bay Mills Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

CORA, through the Inter-Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program, participates on the Council of Lake Committees under the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and is helping to establish sea lamprey control plans for Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior.  The CORA tribes are also directly involved with sea lamprey control by monitoring sea lamprey traps on various tributaries to Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

The ecological effects of zebra and quagga mussels have added to ANS hardships experienced by tribal commercial fishers in the Great Lakes including the fouling of nets by aquatic algae and other plants that flourish in mussel-infested waters.  An experiment being conducted by fishers with the Bay Mills Indian Community in the past year has had the unexpected result of alleviating some of these adverse effects.  In an effort to rehabilitate populations of lake trout in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, small-boat commercial fishers have modified their nets with the intention of avoiding by-catch of lake trout.  The experiment was not only successful at avoiding lake trout but also resulted in much cleaner nets because it lifted the nets above the area of vegetation and algae.  Lake trout were effectively extirpated from Lakes Huron and Michigan in the twentieth century due in part to invasive sea lamprey and alewife.

CORA shares deep concerns with many others over the possible introduction of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.  The CORA tribes have taken every opportunity to encourage all agencies and governments with jurisdiction to work swiftly to prevent migration from carp infested waters in the Chicago area into Lake Michigan.  A copy of a resolution by CORA urging action on this issue can be found at www.asiancarp.org.

Contact: Mike Ripley, mripley@sault.com

Private Groups (Environmental, Commercial, User)

Great Lakes United

[insert update here] 


Council of Great Lakes Industries

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Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council

[insert update here] 



Sea Grant Research

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Sea Grant Advisory Services / Extension

[insert update here]

Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research

[insert update here]



The Nature Conservancy

[insert update here] 

Contact: Lindsay Chadderton

North Central Regional Aquaculture Center

[insert update here]

Contact: Ted Batterson, 517-353-1962, batters2@msu.edu.

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

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Contact: Francine MacDonald, Invasive Species Program Manager/ Aquatics Biologist, 705-748-6324 ext 238, francinem@ofah.org

National Wildlife Federation

[insert update here]

Contact: Michael Murray, 7334-887-7110, murray@nwf.org

University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program

Outreach: MNSG is partnering with the National Park Service to promote Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!TM awareness and empower communities along the North Shore to join the fight to prevent the spread of AIS. Our outreach approach is multifaceted including: hosting booths, giving presentations, written works and product development, and radio interviews. This partnership has nearly doubled our AIS outreach capacities and allowed us to reach over 5,000 people since July.

Based on a grant from GLRI, the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network (GLSGN), led by Minnesota, is implementing a comprehensive outreach initiative targeting 15 pathways aimed at preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Featuring Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!TM, Nab the Aquatic Invader, HabitattitudeTM, AIS-HACCP program, and new Web-based social networking components, we will employ proven and new strategies to protect the Great Lakes. Driven by our survey results and social marketing, we will produce 30 new/improved outreach products reaching 40 communities and 4.85 million media exposures. Evaluation will advance our knowledge of successful outreach, show us how to improve it, and allow replication elsewhere in the U.S. We invite other Panel members to join us in production runs of materials that can be easily adapted or adopted for distribution in your states and communities. Outreach materials include Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! floor displays, lawn banners, table banners, acrylic blocks of preserved specimens, bait shop posters, key floats, stickers, bumper stickers, event bags, AIS booklets, brochures, AIS WATCH ID cards, windshield fliers, tattoos, and others.

Based on a grant from NOAA-Sea Grant, the GLSGN, led by Wisconsin, is conducting an outreach effort in partnership with fishing tournament organizers and professional anglers. MNSG will raise awareness and help prevent the spread of AIS by tournament anglers and organizational activities during three events each year in Minnesota and beyond. We encourage Panel members and other stakeholders to help us by identify tournaments and staff events.

Ballast Water: MNSG has been actively engaged in many activities related to ballast water AIS outreach, education and policy development across the Great Lakes, including the Ballast Water Collaborative. The Jan-March issue of the Great Lakes Seaway Review features "The Ballast Water Collaborative - Setting Tangible Goals and Deadlines for Progress."  In May, the Great Lakes Ballast Water Collaborative (GLBWC) met in Montreal, Canada. A meeting report can be found at: http://www.greatlakesseaway.com/en/pdf/Ballast_Water_Collaborative_Meeting_Report_05-18-10.pdf. In July, they met in Duluth. Participants included ballast water treatment system vendors, vessel owners, policy makers, and technical staff. This meeting resulted in an invitation by the President of the United Nation's International Ballast Water Working Group (Chris Wiley, CA Fisheries and Oceans & Transport Canada) to the titular director of the GLBWC to present the findings and experience of the group's actions and outcomes in addressing Great Lakes ballast water concerns.

MNWIISC 2010: MNSG was a co-sponsor for the first ever Minnesota-Wisconsin Invasive Species Conference 2010 was held in St. Paul in November. It drew over 580 people from across the Midwest and beyond. Conference materials and presentations are being posted at http://www.minnesotaswcs.org/2010_mn_wi_invasive_species_conference.htm.

Contact: Doug Jensen, Minnesota Sea Grant, 218.726.8712, djensen1@umn.edu

Coastal Management

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Contact: Cathie Cunningham Ballard

St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

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U.S. Forest Service

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