>Ballast Water Standards Public Meeting, Washington DC

>The Coast Guard announced that it will hold a public meeting in Washington, DC on October 8, 2009 to receive oral or written comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled ‘‘Standards for Living Organisms in Ships’ Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters’’ published in the Federal Register on Friday, August 28, 2009. The comment period for the NPRM closes on November 27, 2009.

Additional information on Ballast Water Management and measures to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species is available from the Coast Guard’s Environmental Standards (CG-5224) website.

Within the Fifth District, the Mid-Atlantic Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species (MAPAIS) was formed in 2003 through the efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Invasive Species Workgroup, which identified and ranked invasive species threats to the Chesapeake Bay region. A new threat has been the introduction of the Chinese Mitten Crab (pictured above). Live Chinese Mitten Crabs have been found in Chesapeake Bay (2005-2007), Delaware Bay (2007), Hudson River (2007-2009), and in New Jersey (2008-2009). In total, there have been forty-four mitten crabs confirmed in the eastern United States.

MAPAIS’ April 2009 Alert on the Chinese Mitten Crab can be viewed here.

MAPAIS has a diverse membership representing state and federal agencies, academic institutions, environmental organizations, commercial interests, and regional entities.