The state government of New York, US, has given commercial vessels using the St Lawrence Seaway until 1 August 2013 to comply with strict environmental regulations on ballast water.

The New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation earlier set the deadline as 1 January 2012.

The regulations, backed by state and environmental groups, are expected to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species that can enter when vessels flush ballast water taken on in other parts of the world, according to

The St Lawrence Seaway is a system of locks, canals and channels that permit ocean-going vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the North American Great Lakes.