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Aquatic Invasive Species Killing Business

Nick Gale, Illinois Bureau
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Asian Carp, Illinois
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ILLINOIS (IRN) – Aquatic invasive species are affecting businesses’ bottom lines, according to a new study.

While the focus lately has been on Asian Carp, a report commissioned by The Nature Conservancy shows invasive species already in the Great Lakes costing businesses.

“There are a number of [invasive] species that have been in the basin for some time now and have caused considerable economic damage,” said Jeff Walk, director of conservation science for the Illinois chapter Nature Conservancy. He says while Asian Carp is the topic of the day, other invasive species are costing the state big bucks such as the invasive Zebra Mussel, which clogs water intake pipes. “While Asian Carp has certainly drawn a lot of the recent attention, it is an issue that needs a broader perspective because it does affect businesses, industries, homeowners across the Great Lakes region,” he said.

The report, The Costs of Aquatic Invasive Species to Great Lake States, breaks down the costs by industry across the Great Lakes Basin. According to the report, $3,403,448 was spent in Illinois in 2009 and 2010 to combat invasive species in Lake Michigan.

  • All Industries:
  •  $50 million annual cost of reduced demand for industries and tourism in the Great Lakes
  • $34 million annual cost of control and research by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission Sport and Commercial Fishing
  • $18 million Great Lakes Fishery Commission sea lamprey control program.
  • $3.9 – $7.1 million annual benefit to anglers in the St. Mary’s river system of a sea lamprey control program using sterile male release and lampricide
  • Power Generation:
  •  $1.2 million annual cost for one power plant to monitor and control zebra mussels
  • $1.7 million annual cost for researching better control methods for zebra mussels  Industrial
  • $1.97 million to remove 400 cubic yards of zebra mussels from one Lake Michigan paper plant
  • $144,000 – $685,000 annual cost to monitor zebra mussels at an industrial facility
  • $21.6 million budget for AIS control for 2006 St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
  • Water Treatment
  •  $480,000 – $540,000 annual cost of zebra mussel control for water treatment plant
  • $353,000 annual cost of zebra mussel control for municipal water treatment facility.

Copyright IRN

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