Prevention of nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species (ANS) introductions through ballast water will be investigated by examining the potential use of glutaraldehyde, a non-oxidizing biocide, in treating the residual ballast water remaining in ship tanks after complete discharge operations. This project, conducted by investigators at the University of Michigan, is supported by a $300,000 grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, a new organization that supports Great Lakes research. The primary objective of this research, based on recommendations from a preliminary study funded by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Office of the Great Lakes, is to determine if glutaraldehyde can effectively treat the microorganisms transported in the unpumpable ballast residue in a manner that is not harmful to the environment.
Many of the ballast management technologies under investigation are not biologically effective, economically feasible and/or require substantial engineering modifications to ships. One option that has yet to be explored is a class of compounds called non-oxidizing biocides; one of these compounds that shows considerable promise is glutaraldehyde, a chemical that is very effective in the control of microorganisms at a concentration of 10 to 25 parts per million. This chemical has a short half-life of one to two days and then breaks down into harmless byproducts such as carbon dioxide.
The use of glutaraldehyde shows great promise in that it already has a wide range of applications that are environmentally acceptable. Most notably is its use as a sterilant in the medical and dental professions and to control microorganism growth in cooling water towers. The fact that glutaraldehyde is effective at low concentrations, yet breaks down quickly, makes it a good candidate for additional environmental applications. Although this compound is relatively expensive, its use in the treatment of unpumpable ballast should prove to be economically feasible (per application costs of $260 to $900 depending on the amount of residual ballast held in the tanks) since it will not be needed in massive quantities that would otherwise be necessary in the treatment of full ballast tanks. Examining the feasibility of using this chemical to effectively treat ballast residue without posing environmental risks will be a critical component of this research.
Primary investigators include Dr. Russell Moll, an aquatic biologist and director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program, and Dr. Michael Parsons, a professor in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Department. They will be joined by Larissa Lubomudrov, a graduate student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. The first year of the three-year project will be lab investigations to determine if glutaraldehyde can be used safely and effectively in treating ballast water. The second and third years will be actual shipboard investigations treating ballast tanks.
Use of a non-oxdizing biocide would entail only minimal engineering modifications to ships, making it a good candidate for use in the existing fleet while other technologies are being developed. Finally, the project will address if use of the biocide has any deleterious effects on the ship's crew or the ship itself. If this project proves a success, we may have a new weapon in preventing ANS introductions through ballast water.
Contact: Dr. Russell Moll, Michigan Sea Grant, 734-763-1437, email@example.com.
At its December 1997, meeting Gary Isbell, Ohio DNR, and Ron Martin, Wisconsin DNR, were elected as the new chair and vice chair, respectively. Jay Rendall, Minnesota DNR, was appointed to represent the Panel on the Recreational Activities Committee of the national ANS Task Force. The Panel also adopted a new policy statement titled, A Binational Canadian-United States Ballast Water Research Strategy, as well as model ANS prevention and control guidelines for personal watercraft users, waterfowl hunters and scuba divers. Additional guidelines will be developed for agency field operations, laboratories and researchers, aquaculture operators, barges, firefighting operations and the aquarium industry.
The Panel is developing model state ANS legislation and a regional ANS Action Plan (see the summer 1997 issue of the ANS Update for a summary of these initiatives). A drafting committee will advise on the Action Plan project, and a special symposium in conjunction with the Panel's spring meeting will address the model legislation. The next Panel meeting is scheduled for June 9-10, 1998 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Contact: Matt Doss, Great Lakes Commission, 734-665-9135, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The federal appropriations process is underway for FY 99. The President's budget requests new funds to support National Invasive Species Act (NISA) programs, but these requests are inadequate to effectively implement critical components of the law, especially the national ballast management program and the ANS state management plans. Committee hearings are in progress.
The President's budget contains $3.192 million for activities under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to NISA for which total authorization is $15.7 million. This increase of $1 million from the FY 98 allocation will be allocated to the state management plans ($250,000), ballast water management projects ($150,000), the Great Lakes and Western Regional panels and support for the Chicago dispersal barrier project ($120,000), 100th Meridian Initiative and the Alaska Ballast Water Program.
Funding for NISA programs within the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is limited to $800,000 under the President's budget. NOAA is authorized to receive more than $7.5 million for responsibilities under the Act, compared to $4.3 million appropriated by Congress in FY 98. In addition, $9 million is requested in the President's budget for NOAA to research the causes and impacts of harmful algal blooms (such as Pfisteria).
The U.S. Coast Guard was authorized $2 million in FY 98 to develop its new national ANS prevention program. In addition, the Act authorized $3 million for the implementation phase of the program, slated to begin in FY 99. The President's proposed level funding for the Coast Guard programs will not be sufficient to cover implementation, including field staff and monitoring costs.
FY 98 funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was $2 million for zebra mussel control, while the President's request for FY 99 is $1.5 million. Congress appropriated $500,000 in FY 98 for the Corps to cooperate with the U.S. EPA to develop a dispersal barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to prevent ANS dispersal between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. Additional funds are needed for construction of the downstream benthic barrier and design of a barrier that covers the entire water column. Contact: Rochelle Sturtevant, Senate Great Lakes Task Force, 202-224-4229, email@example.com.
ILLINOIS: The DNR will complete a draft ANS state management plan, including a task list and budget, this spring. Dissemination of 2,500 brochures on Great Lakes Panel-approved guidelines for recreational boaters to reduce ANS dispersal occurred at DNR-sponsored safe boating classes. Contact: Mike Conlin, IL DNR, 217-782-6424, firstname.lastname@example.org.
INDIANA: Through a cooperative effort with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program, ANS signs will be posted at boat launch areas for state park and reservoir properties. Contact: Randy Lang, IN DNR, 317-232-4094, email@example.com.
MINNESOTA: The DNR is controlling purple loosestrife using both herbicides and biological control insects through a cooperative program between County Agricultural Inspectors, the DNR and University of MN staff. Individuals or organizations wishing to obtain Ruffe WATCH and Round Goby WATCH ID cards should contact their state's Sea Grant office, a state/provincial natural resource management agency, or a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office. Contact: Jay Rendall, 612-297-1464, jay.rendall@ dnr.state.mn.us.
NEW YORK: The Lake Erie Fisheries Unit is beginning a second year of monitoring the impacts of zebra mussel colonization on lake trout and walleye spawning shoals. The Finger Lakes monitoring project, assessing the impacts of zebra mussel colonization on aquatic ecosystems, is conducting the fourth year of data collection. Contact: Bill Culligan, NYS DEC, 716-366-0228, firstname.lastname@example.org.
OHIO: Implementation of the ANS state management plan continues. The document is being updated with monitoring and control programs. A conference titled Development and Implementation of State Management Plans for Aquatic Nuisance Species will be held in conjunction with the 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, the week of December 7, 1998. Contact: Randy Sanders, OH DNR, 614-265-6344, email@example.com.
PENNSYLVANIA: Volunteers for the state's Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program have submitted their reports for the 1997 season. While data entry is not yet completed, early indications suggest that there are no new observations of zebra mussels at the monitoring network stations. Contact: Tony Shaw, PA DEP, 717-787-9637, firstname.lastname@example.org.
WISCONSIN: An initial draft of the ANS state management plan is undergoing agency review. The interstate management plan on the Lower St. Croix River is completed and will be sent to the ANS Task Force for approval. A DNR report, Zebra Mussel Induced Water Quality Impacts in the Mississippi Observed in the Summer of 1997, was released in January 1998. Contact: Ron Martin, WI DNR, 608-266-9270, email@example.com.
The Task Force has constituted the following committees since November 1997: Recreational Activities, ad hoc Voluntary Ballast Water Effectiveness Criteria, Ballast Water and Shipping, and ad hoc Public Awareness. The statutory principals of the Task Force met in December 1997 and decided to establish a small staff to coordinate Task Force activities and to pursue a unified budget initiative for FY 2000 to enhance funding and avoid fragmentation in the current appropriations process.
The Task Force met March 19-20, 1998 in Sacramento, Calif. Agenda items included: policies on membership, committees, and establishment of regional panels; state management plans; ballast water activities; and problems caused by the green crab. Presentations were also made on the status of zebra mussel knowledge ten years after the first detection. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published a biological study of nonindigenous species in San Francisco Bay. Contact: Bob Peoples, USFWS, 703-358-2025, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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