Marad to Fund Anti-Invasive Species Program

Marad to Fund Anti-Invasive Species Program

The Maritime Administration is providing $4 million to help prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species found in cargo ships plying the Great Lakes and inland waterways, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Monday.

The funding is part of the Obama Administration’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the largest federal investment in the Great Lakes in 20 years. The initiative’s priorities for action—developed by a task force of 16 federal departments —are combating invasive species, cleaning up toxic pollution, protecting wetlands from pollution, and restoring wetland and habitats.

Through a cooperative agreement with the Northeast Midwest Institute, Marad is providing funding and technical expertise to help upgrade the Great Ships Initiative ballast water treatment technology testing facility.

The GSI facility, located in the Duluth-Superior Harbor of Lake Superior and the only one in North America, is being used to test promising water treatment technologies designed to remove unwelcome species “hitch-hiking” in ballast water tanks onboard cargo ships.

--Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com.