National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Emerald Ash Borer

By Roger Germann, Executive Vice President of the John G. Shedd Aquarium, for Huffington Post.

This week we recognize National Invasive Species Awareness Week and with Lake Michigan in the Shedd Aquarium’s backyard, protecting the Great Lakes is an issue that literally is near to our heart — so what better time to get involved?

Although invasive species may seem like a localized issue limited to one city, state or province, Asian carp and other non-native animals pose a significant threat to habitats, wildlife and livelihoods throughout the Great Lakes basin. This basin is home to 42 million people living in 140 communities — all of whom can play a role in helping to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Recently Asian carp has surfaced as invasive species “public enemy number one.” They pose a significant threat because they consume large quantities of plankton, algae and other microscopic aquatic plants. Plankton functions as the basis of the entire Great Lakes food web, so Asian carp have the potential to…

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