A new federal court ruling makes it easier for Great Lakes States to fight invasive species.

Great Lakes states, including Wisconsin, have been pushing the federal government for years to stop salt water freighters from dumping ballast and the invasive species it contains into the fresh water lakes.

But Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) says the federal government just can't seem to get it done. Now that a federal court says states can take matters into their own hands, Cowles hopes his bill to require freighters to purify their ballast will get its sea legs in the legislature.

Cowles says too much damage has been done already to the ecology of the lakes by noxious weeds, zebra mussels and other organisms. Who knows, he says, if something more damaging is on its way.

Michigan's law to fight invasive species in ship ballast is the one the court upheld. Cowles says his bill is modeled after Michigan.

Cowles says there is legislation pending before Congress that he hopes the Wisconsin delegation will support but so far he says, he hasn't seen any interest.

AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( :51 MP3 )

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