Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Legislators Comment On Asian Carp In Flatfoot Lake Near Chicago

Sep 17: U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), author of the Stop Invasive Species Act [See WIMS 7/2/12] that was signed into law by President Obama in July 2012, issued a statement after the discovery of an Asian carp in Flatfoot Lake, which is extremely close to Lake Michigan. She said, "There are thousands of Michigan jobs that rely on the Great Lakes, and we need more than temporary fixes. If Asian carp are not stopped before they enter the Great Lakes, they could destroy the ecosystem, as well as the boating and fishing industries, and hundreds of thousands of jobs. We passed bipartisan legislation to require the Corps to finally make stopping Asian carp a top priority, and the Army Corps needs to follow the law and complete its work."

    A 53-inch, 82-pound carp was caught in Flatfoot Lake near Chicago. Flatfoot Lake is located next to Calumet River, which feeds directly into Lake Michigan. Recent research found that as few as 10 Asian carp are needed to establish a breeding population, which illustrates the potentially devastating effects Asian carp could have on the Great Lakes' ecosystem. Sen. Stabenow indicated that this discovery further underscores the Army Corps of Engineers' responsibility to find a solution for keeping Asian carp, and other invasive species, from entering the Great Lakes. The Stop Invasive Species Act, written by Senator Stabenow and Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), requires the Army Corps to deliver concrete options, including full hydrological separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin, to stop Asian carp. The bill passed Congress and was signed by President Obama last year.

    Rep. Camp also issued a statement saying, "News that a live Asian carp was found dangerously close to Lake Michigan, in Flatfoot Lake, is another reminder that we must find a permanent solution to protect the Great Lakes.  Incidents like this underscore the fact that hydrological separation is the only real way to keep Asian carp from destroying the Great Lakes." According to a release from Rep. Camp, last week, Wisconsin Public Radio reported that White House Council on Environmental Quality Asian carp director John Goss recently told a group in Milwaukee that a 53 inch, 82 pound Asian carp had been found in Flatfoot Lake, Illinois in August.

    Access a release from Sen. Stabenow (click here). Access a release from Rep. Camp and link to the radio report (click here). Access the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee website for more information (click here). Access the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study website (click here). [#GLakes]

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