Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Invasive species claim sails onto our favorites list

Invasive species got into the Great Lakes in the ballast of ships from foreign ports, but Rep. Steve LaTourette says that no longer is the lakes' biggest threat.
Invasive species got into the Great Lakes in the ballast of ships from foreign ports, but Rep. Steve LaTourette says that no longer is the lakes' biggest threat.

For several months in 2011, GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette was weighted down in a congressional dispute over ballast water on the Great Lakes.

Invasive species, like zebra mussels, round gobies and bloody red shrimp, have hitchhiked in ballast water that ships take on for stability in one body of water, and discharge elsewhere. The stowaways crowd out native species, cause structural damage, and spread disease.

Everyone wants to crack down on invasive species, but LaTourette was concerned that new regulations the state of New York was pushing for  ballast water were so strict they couldn't be met by current technology.

"The problem with invasive species today in the Great Lakes isn’t ballast water," LaTourette said.

PolitiFact Ohio decided to check out LaTourette's claim, and it became one of our favorites of the year.

On the Truth-O-Meter we rated it True.