Press Release

Alliance Applauds New Canadian Ballast Water Regulations

June 23, 2021

Chicago, IL (June 23, 2021) – Earlier today, the Canadian government released new rules on the regulation of ship ballast water. In response, Alliance for the Great Lakes Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Policy Molly Flanagan issued the following statement:

“The Alliance for the Great Lakes is pleased to see Canada put in place new rules on ballast water tanks that will help keep aquatic invasive species out of the Great Lakes. The rules are an important step toward preventing irreversible damage to the lakes.

Research has found that “lakers” — ships that transit solely within Great Lakes waterways — contribute to the spread of destructive aquatic invasive species among the lakes. Aquatic invasive species can irreparably harm our ecosystem and cost the region billions. Under these new rules, which will require all vessels stopping at Candian ports to have ballast water treatment systems by 2030, it is estimated the spread of invasive species at Canadian Great Lakes ports will be reduced by 82 percent. Additionally, an estimated $980 million in benefits will result from the implementation of these rules. Given that costs to comply are about $280 million, that amounts to an impressive 3.5 to 1 benefit/cost ratio.

While we applaud Canada for taking action, these new rules serve as a reminder that the United States must also hold up its end of the bargain by implementing similarly strong ballast water standards on board all ships operating on the Great Lakes.The Alliance for the Great Lakes calls on the United States Environmental Protection Agency to regulate all vessels on the Great Lakes, including lakers. Ultimately, unwavering commitments from both countries are necessary to keep aquatic invasive species at bay and protect the health and vitality of the Great Lakes for future generations.”


Media contact: Jennifer Caddick,