Monday, April 26, 2010

Make No Mistake: The Fight Against Asian Carp Continues

Dear Friends,

Today the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision on our Asian carp lawsuit. Unfortunately, they declined to take up our motion to reopen the Chicago Diversion case and address the threat of Asian Carp through the legal system. It is important to note, though, that the Court did NOT say they dismissed the merits of our claim that Asian carp are an immediate and significant threat to the Great Lakes.

So, make no mistake: this is NOT the end of our battle to protect our Great Lakes jobs and ecosystem from Asian carp. While I am investigating every legal option available to us, there are other ways to protect the jobs and ecology of the Great Lakes basin today. With your help, we can make it happen.

A silver carp, an invasive species and a variety of the Asian carp, is pictured by
the Illinois River in central Illinois. (Marlin Levison/Star Tribune/Associated Press)

1) Urge President Obama to Take Action

In early February, the federal government released its Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework as "proof" that the Obama Administration is addressing the threat of Asian Carp. To date, the inadequate, half-hearted measures it proposed, like closing the locks a few days per week, have yet to even be put into place.

The delays continue despite a supposed April 30th deadline for implementing the protections. Meanwhile, Asian carp eDNA is still being detected at the O'Brien Lock near Lake Michigan, and the Asian carp super-highway remains wide open.

This lack of action is even more disappointing in light of President Obama's earlier commitment to pledge zero-tolerance for new invasive species in the Great Lakes.

We must call on President Obama to act today by directing the Army Corps of Engineers to block the path of Asian carp between Illinois rivers and the Great Lakes basin.

ACTION: Please call President Obama at 202-456-1414 and urge him to take serious action to protect the Great Lakes today. The White House needs to hear from concerned Great Lakes citizens like you.

2) Help Rep. Dave Camp Promote the CARP Act

Rep. Dave Camp has been a leader in promoting legislative solutions to the threat of Asian carp. He has introduced the CARP Act (H.R. 4472), which will implement many of the commonsense Great Lakes protections suggested in our lawsuit. Also, in a show of bipartisan support, Senator Debbie Stabenow has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate, S.294.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid could take action to protect the Lakes but have failed to make our region's concerns a priority.

ACTION: Call Pelosi at 202-225-0100 and Reid at 202-224-3542 to let them know your opinion on the urgent need to protect the Lakes.

Citizens need to tell the Obama administration and Congress to move forward with both immediate and long-term actions to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. This is not just about closing shipping locks for a while. The federal government and Illinois also need to act smartly and aggressively toward a permanent, comprehensive plan for physically separating the carp-infested Chicago waterways from the Lakes, while still accommodating other public interests.

While President Obama has turned a blind-eye to the other Great Lakes states in favor of Illinois, it is clear now that he is responsible for our economy and ecology. He could protect Michigan by either ordering the Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate action or by calling for the passage of Rep. Camp or Sen. Stabenow's bills. I would be glad to host that bill signing anywhere along the thousands of miles of Michigan Great Lakes shoreline.

Thank You

Thank you for all you have done over the past several months to support our efforts to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. As residents of THE Great Lakes state, we have a special perspective on the blessings of the bountiful resources provided by our lakes and waterways.

Please take a moment to tell your friends and neighbors to call the President and Congress to share their insights about the Great Lakes and urge our elected officials to act right away.

If you haven't joined the conversation on Facebook, please sign on to our page today. Every day citizens are driving the conversation about why they love the Great Lakes and what they've done to protect them. Join the discussion today!

Mike Cox, Attorney General


Supreme Court Stays Out of Asian Carp Dispute

Associated Press

April 26, 2010

Michigan has led the legal fight to close the locks, arguing that the ravenous carp, weighing up to 100 pounds, could decimate the lakes' $7 billion fishing industry by starving out competitors such as salmon and walleye.

Mike Cox, the state's attorney general and a Republican candidate for governor, said responsibility for blocking the carp's advance now lies with President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders. The Obama administration sided with Illinois in opposing closure of the locks.

"While President Obama has turned a blind eye to the millions of Great Lakes residents who do not happen to live in his home state of Illinois, it is now up to him to save thousands of Michigan jobs and our environment," Cox said.

U.S. Supreme Court Reject Michigan on Asian Carp

Bloomberg Businessweek

April 26, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court, rejecting a bid by Michigan, refused to order Illinois and the federal government to permanently separate the waters of Chicago-area rivers and canals from Lake Michigan to stop the migration of Asian carp.

Today's rebuff was the third this year for Michigan at the nation's highest court, which previously declined to order the temporary closure of area locks and dams as a step to keep the carp from entering Lake Michigan. Illinois officials and President Barack Obama's administration urged the court not to get involved.

Michigan and other Great Lakes states say that, should the carp reach Lake Michigan, they would spread rapidly, consume nutrients needed by other species and potentially devastate the region's $7 billion sport-fishing industry and much of its tourism business.

"The fight to protect Michigan's jobs and environment now falls to President Obama and Congress," Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said in a statement.


Pete said...

Morning mate,
This is a good blog you have well written and laid out.I live in Helsinki Finland and throughout the world there are differnt names for fish.Take what you call walleye in the colonies.Here it is Kuha,in Finnish or in the rest of europe,Zander or Pike Perch cause its a cross breed.
As to other species in Europe in certain areas your rainbow trout is pushing out the native brown trout.

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