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Invasive species summit aims to halt Great Lakes-Mississippi River species exchange

WHAT: Experts on aquatic invasive species will meet with environmental engineers and fishing and river-carrier interests to come up with practical ways to prevent invasive species from moving between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. More than 60 people from the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom will participate in the summit. The summit will begin with presentations on invasive-species transfer, wastewater management, flood control, and navigation and shipping. Participants will devise a work plan for preventing further environmental degradation and impacts on marine-related industries in the two basins.

WHEN: May 14 and 15. Day 1: 8:15 5 pm (CST). Day 2: 8:00 am 12:30 pm.
At 8:15 am on May 14, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley will address the summit.

WHO: Mayor Daley and Chicagos Department of Environment, along with William F. Hartwig, regional director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, are convening the summit. Other sponsors and participants include the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources; the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council; the Consulate General of Canada; the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association; the International Joint Commission; and university researchers from the countries.

WHERE: Hyatt on Printers Row, 500 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago.

WHY:
Non-native species threaten native species. More than 160 non-native species now live in the Great Lakes drainage basin, and nearly the same number live in the Mississippi River drainage basin. These two basins are connected by the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and the Cal-Sag Channel (CSSC), which together constitute a revolving door for invasive species. The zebra mussel and round goby are among species that already have traveled from the
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Contact: Christine Esposito
terracompr@earthlink.net
773-637-3939
Chicago Department of Environment
9-May-2003


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