EMPIRE, MICHIGAN APRIL 1, 2013 – Residents of the sleepy Michigan shoreline villages of Empire, Glen Arbor and Leland were surprised as they awoke to see the Lake Michigan beach covered with the latest Great Lakes invasive species to threaten our shores, lobsters.
Dr. Molly Trapp, director of Michigan Sea Grant’s new Invasive Species Rapid Response team (ISRR), is heading the team and was one of the first to arrive on the scene. “There are a variety of ways that invasive species enter the Great Lakes,” Dr. Trapp explained. “Many come in in ballast water of freighters are are dumped, while others are pets that people release when they can no longer care for them. That’s likely what happened here, and I just wish people would think a little bit before they take on the responsibility of an exotic pet.”
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Under Superintendent in Charge of Beach Security, Stan Daround offered comment as well, “We want to assure everyone that we remain the most beautiful place in America despite this crustacean invasion. Park staff is working on a plan to combat this menace.”
While Mr. Daraound was unable to provide specifics, he offered that the Park would probably be asking for “a lot of bibs and some of those claw cracker things” in their emergency appropriation request.
The village of Empire, already overtaxed preparing for their annual Asparagus Festival next month, has called all residents to an emergency eating in the Empire Town Hall at 6 PM.
Area resident Michael Buhler offered a simple plea: “Send butter.”
For more on invasive species in the Great Lakes (including actual facts) visit Michigan Sea Grant’s Invasive Species pages.