Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for sharing your questions with our office. I would like to assure you that the health of the environment is also one of our greatest concerns here at the Department of Environmental Protection.
Zebra mussels and other invasive species were introduced as a result of development of the area and additional water traffic from other places in the world. These species are problematic. Natural species have become endangered and the two problems, invasive and native endangered species are interrelated, so research continues as restoration projects continue. For example, carp species are being monitored carefully in Lake Michigan. You can find more information at asiancarp. us/documents/Carps_Management_Plan. The Carps Management Plan details how some of the invasive carp species are now being sold because a market for the fish has been created. On the other hand, some of the solutions include targeting invasive Asian carp with toxic microparticles, because the microparticles have a negative effect on their digestive system (Conover, 2007).
The water level of Lake Michigan fluctuates depending on rainfall and the amount of runoff throughout the year. The winter is the season with the lowest levels of water in the lake. The low water levels due to seasonal changes or to drought conditions are problematic. The effect on invasive and natural species is being studied in many parts of the country. For instance, it is has been determined that wall-eyed pike remain in Lake Lucerne, Wisconsin but the invasive fish species die off. A similar study needs to be carried out in Lake Michigan.
The drilling proposal does pose a higher risk for oil spills and tanker accidents. The trade-offs have to be considered carefully. For example, is the risk of pollution so high that the financial benefits are not worth taking the chance on an oil spill? The proposed drilling is problematic on political levels as well as a concern for the environment. Canada has allowed directional drilling for oil under the Great Lakes for many years, while oil drilling on or off shore in the Great Lakes was still banned in the U. S. A Michigan bi-partisan group of legislators proposed a ban on oil drilling in the early 2000s, but due to the economic crisis many people are interested in the revenue that oil drilling promises. A ban on oil drilling in the Great Lakes has been considered on the national level and in several states, but at this time the momentum has been behind oil drilling for employment and other financial benefits.
Unfortunately, I do not have any definitive answers to your questions although I will enclose the web addresses where you can find more information. I urge you to continue writing letters and send them to your local newspaper, your city council, your state legislators and the U. S. Congress. If I can help you further, feel free to contact me.
Our writers will create one from scratch for
Conover, G., R. Simmonds, and M. Whalen, editors. 2007. ‘ Management and control plan for bighead, black, grass, and silver carps in the United States.’ Asian Carp Working Group, http://asiancarp. us/documents/Carps_Management_Plan. pdf
Sheikh, P., Humphries, M., Ramseur, J. L. & Vann, A. (2008). ‘ Drilling in the Great Lakes: Background and Issues.’ Congressional Research Service. Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress, Order Code RL34741, published Nov. 11, 2008. http://www. cnie. org/NLE/CRSreports/06Jul/RL33455. pdf
U. S. DOI (Department of the Interior) & the U. S. G. S. ‘ Restoring the Great Lakes.’ Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, Washington, D. C. pp. 223 phttp://pubs. usgs. gov/unnumbered/70048731/report. pdf