The Cost of Great Lakes Invasives, and BaySailing Events

As heard Friday, June 1, 2012, on Friday Edition, Environment Report, Q-90.1 FM, Delta College, NPR-member station

photo quagga mussels shoe invasive
Photo by Arthur Felig

Set Sail

BaySail has announced a series of events for the summer.
BaySail is a Bay City nonprofit that operates two Appledore schooners. The ships are used for educational and public sails on Saginaw Bay.

This summer’s public schedule includes “Legends of the Saginaw Sails,” departing from the BaySail dock in downtown Bay City’s Wenonah Park.

The sails offer a history lesson on the Saginaw River, on an Appledore schooner, sailing from the downtown out to Saginaw Bay. Some departures also feature live maritime music by the band Hoolie of Bay City.

Sails are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays in June, August and September, with lunch included.

An Appledore schooner also will be participating this summer in Tall Ships events in Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and New York.

Scholarships for secondary school students also are available for overnight voyages this summer to Nova Scotia and other destinations.

For more information, see baysailbaycity.org.

 

Invasive$ Report

A new report on aquatic invasive species quantifies their costs to businesses and consumers in the Great Lakes region.

The report, by the Anderson Economic Group, was commissioned by The Nature Conservancy.

It says the tab for businesses and consumers totals hundreds of millions (with an m) dollars per year. Those include costs for removal, maintenance and management of species like zebra and quagga mussels. Meanwhile, state and federal governments are spending millions more for efforts to control the impact and prevent the spread of invasives in the Great Lakes.

Some figures from the report include:

  • The cost of controlling zebra mussels at one water treatment facility equals about $353,000 a year. There are 381 such facilities across the basin.
  • Michigan’s cost for maintenance, control and prevention of aquatic invasive species in 2009 and 2010 totaled $3.1 million.
  • More than 100 power plants that use water from the Great Lakes also are spending a total of $130 million a year to remove invasives.

What is the largest Great Lakes industry affected by aquatic invasives? The report says tourism and recreation, which employs more than 90,000 people and generates an estimate $30.3 billion (with a b) annually in revenue.

The full report can be found online at nature.org/greatlakes

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