Winter 2010

ASC Droplets

Sea Grant Outreach

Web Page Provides Latest Information on Asian Carp

Phil Moy, UW Sea Grant’s fisheries and aquatic invasive species specialist, was one of hundreds of scientists at the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in December 2009, where rotenone was applied to kill fish while the electronic barrier designed to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan was down for maintenance. The barrier serves as a last defense mechanism against the invasion of the carp that are predicted to wreck havoc on the Great Lakes. One bighead carp and several grass carp—two of the four Asian carp species—were found during the poisoning. Moy served as the demobilization unit leader during the operation. He serves as co-chair of the 27-member, multiagency Aquatic Nuisance Species Advisory Panel that provides input and guidance to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The latest information about the carp can be found on Moy’s Web page: He was featured in two news broadcasts on Wisconsin Public Television and was interviewed in many major news stories.

State of Lake Michigan Conference

About 350 people came together in late September 2009 to attend a joint conference on the state of Lake Michigan and Great Lakes beaches. Vicky Harris, UW Sea Grant’s water quality and habitat specialist, co-chaired the conference. More than 150 presentations were given covering 23 topics, including contamination cleanup, climate change impacts, wetlands, predicting beach contamination and swimming advisories, Lake Michigan wind power, invasive species, and nuisance and harmful algal blooms.

“The great attendance at the conference shows the high level of interest in Lake Michigan’s water quality and beach health,” said Harris. “President Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative holds great promise and has people excited about making real progress on long-standing problems."

Harbor Corrosion Culprit Identified

Recently published research has identified one mechanism that may be responsible for accelerated steel corrosion in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. A specific sequence of biological, chemical and physical events is apparently to blame for the corrosion found on 20 kilometers of steel sheet piling and structures around the harbor. The process involves oxygen-reacting bacteria and high levels of copper in the water, encouraged by ice scraping against steel structures in the frozen harbor each winter. (For more information, please visit “This study confirms that ongoing repair and mitigation studies in the local harbor are on the right track,” said UW Sea Grant Coastal Engineering Specialist Gene Clark, who has served on a steering committee investigating the accelerated corrosion since it was first identified four years ago. Clark is assisting efforts to develop methods to slow down or stop the corrosion before the damaged steel must be entirely replaced. He is also encouraging other Great Lakes ports, harbors and marinas to examine their infrastructure for similar damage.

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

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