Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Latest Asian Carp Monitoring & Rapid Response Plan

May 23: The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) released its 2011 Asian Carp Monitoring and Rapid Response Plan (MRRP), outlining what they said was an aggressive set of actions to track and remove Asian carp in the Upper Illinois River and the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) to prevent this invasive species from establishing in the Great Lakes. 

    In 2010, Federal and state partners dedicating more than 16,000 hours to surveying and removing Asian carp in more than 200 miles of Illinois waterway. On-the-ground actions ranged from scientific analysis of water samples for Asian carp DNA to intensive use of traditional fishing methods such as electro-fishing and netting. These actions were part of the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework first released by the Obama Administration in May 2010. The 2011 MRRP summarizes the monitoring results from 2010, continues and intensifies the monitoring and sampling actions and outlines a strategy for rapid response in the event an Asian carp is found above the barrier system in the CAWS.

    John Goss, Asian Carp Director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) said, "This plan represents an intensive and collaborative response to Asian carp in Illinois waters and is a key part of the Obama Administration's comprehensive and long term strategy to protect our Great Lakes from Asian carp. By unifying Federal and state action, conducting vigilant monitoring, and developing and using cutting edge technologies, we are ensuring the most coordinated and effective response at all levels to safeguard the health of the Great Lakes and Great Lakes communities."

    The 2011 MRRP represents an estimated $7 million Federal investment and is designed with the flexibility to respond to new threats. Project plans can be categorized geographically as occurring either upstream or downstream of the electric dispersal barrier and grouped into the following five categories: Monitoring; Barrier Effectiveness Evaluations; Removal Projects; Technology Effectiveness Evaluations and Development Projects; and Alternative Pathway Surveillance.

    Access a release with further details (click here). Access the complete 111-page 2011 Monitoring and Rapid Response Plan (click here). Access the ACRCC website for more information (click here). [*GLakes]