After years of struggle the federal government is requiring shippers to take action to clean up their ballast water discharges and stop the introduction of new invasive species.
We on the St. Lawrence River know all too well the scourge of invasive species introduced through the discharge of ballast water into our River and the Great Lakes. Zebra mussels, round goby, eurasian milfoil, and VHS have disrupted the River’s fragile ecosystem, displaced or decimated native species and cost millions each year in eradication efforts and lost economic activity.
Using the clear authority of the Clean Water Act, shippers are finally being required to clean up their act and their ballast water.
But now the House of Representatives is considering a bill that will undo the progress made and once again open the spigot to aquatic invasive species.
Language that will essentially remove shipping from the requirements of the Clean Water Act has been added to the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4909), a bill that is considered a “must pass” piece of legislation.
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) is a tremendous step backward for the River and Great Lakes and opens these great waterbodies to the threat of a new wave of invaders.
We need you to contact your Congress person today and tell them “no rollback of Clean Water Protections from invasive species – no VIDA in HR 4909.“
If your Congress person is Elise Stefanik:
call her at: (202) 225-4611
or send an email by going to: https://stefanik.house.gov/contact/email
If you vote in a different Congressional District, but love the River and want to protect it from new invasives, you can find contact information for your Congress person here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Suggested script for a call or email. Personalizing it will give it greater impact:
“I urge Congresswoman Stefanik to oppose the inclusion of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act in HR 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act. Its provisions remove Clean Water Act protections for the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes from the threat of invasive species in ballast water discharges. It is critical to the health of the River and the economy of communities all along it to stop the introduction of new invasive species.”
Please SHARE this with others who also want a healthy St. Lawrence River. Ask them to call their representative in Congress too.
Once you make the call let us know on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #NoVIDA.