During a 2017 study that was carried out by the Great Waters Research Collaborative (GWRC), five species of non-indigenous zooplankton were discovered in western Lake Superior in laker ballast water discharge. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency paid for the study and complied with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency ballast water permitting requirements throughout the entirety of the project. Ten U.S. and Canadian-flag lakers participated in the study where water samples were microscopically analyzed for any non-indigenous species of aquatic organisms that had not yet been detected in Lake Superior waters.
Project commissioner John Linc Stine of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) expressed that, "This study is an important benchmark in protecting Lake Superior and inland waters from unwanted, aquatic species that are not native to the Great Lakes,” and reiterated that following the conclusion of the research, they will work with the vessel owners to develop extensive ballast management strategies to protect the waters of Minnesota.
Read more about the results of the Great Waters Research Collaborative study here.