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Invasive Species and You

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Dear friend-

Conservation groups including Prairie Rivers Network and led by National Wildlife Federation plan to file a citizen suit against several shipping companies that operate in the Great Lakes, demanding compliance with the Clean Water Act. Our press release can be found at



In short, this lawsuit aims to force ocean-going ships to comply with US law to stop invasive species introductions. Invasive alien species are recognized as one of the leading threats to biodiversity and impose enormous costs to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and other human enterprises, as well as to human health. As an example in Illinois, the zebra mussel was accidentally released into Lake St. Clair in 1988 in ship ballast water and now has spread throughout the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio Rivers as well as many other inland lakes. These are voracious filter feeders, outcompete native animals, foul boats and clog intake pipes at power plants and municipal water sources. Estimates of damage due to zebra mussels are now in the billions.


In order for our organization to have standing, NWF will need a few declarations from PRN members describing how they have been impacted by the presence of aquatic invasive species, likely introduced by ballast water. We are looking for members that might fit in one of the following categories:


1) Boat owner affected by a) required boat cleaning or maintenance to

prevent hitchhikers like invasive plants or zebra mussels, B) restrictions

on use of boats in certain waterways due to cross-contamination issues, c)

direct damage due to zebra mussels or other invasive species


2) Angler affected by a) favorite fishing hole impacted by presence of

invasive plant, B) prey of choice in decline due to competition or

disturbance by invasive species, c) choice or price of bait change d)

snagging of line due to spiny fishhook flea, etc.


3) Business owner affected by intake pipes clogged by zebra mussels or other

additional maintenance requirements or damage to or loss of property due to invasive species


4) Others?



If you have been impacted in one of the above described ways, please contact Traci Barkley at tbarkley@prairierivers.org or 217/344-2371 and find out how you can get involved and take an important step in protecting not only the integrity of the Great Lakes, but our inland Illinois rivers and streams as well.


For our waters-




Traci L. Barkley

Water Resources Scientist

Prairie Rivers Network

1902 Fox Drive, Suite G

Champaign, Illinois 61820

Ph. 217.344.2371

Fax. 217.344.2381



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