Scientists estimate the Great Lakes have been invaded by more than 180 species. Invasive species have an impact on every system here and cost more than $200 million annually in lost revenue and prevention strategies.
Aquatic invasive species may be the most significant threat to the health of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Project will collaborate with universities, funders and state and federal agencies to:
- Prevent the arrival and spread of new aquatic invasive species.
- Detect and eradicate newly arrived aquatic invasive species before they get a foothold in the Great Lakes.
- Give natives species a competitive advantage through pest management techniques.
- Influence policy by providing information about the highest-risk species to state and federal agencies, and help decision-makers understand the economic and ecologic trade-offs to craft more effective policies.
While aquatic invasive species have irrevocably changed the Great Lakes, we are taking steps to stem new introductions, contain new arrivals from becoming established and minimize the impact of those aquatic invasive species that are here to stay. A stronger, more resilient Great Lakes ecosystem is one of the most powerful weapons we have against aquatic invasive species.
Zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species cost hundreds of millions of dollars to control.
Watch this video to see how invasive species enter our waterways.
The Chicago Area Waterway System is a high-risk area for the two-way movement of aquatic invasive species.