Thursday, June 24, 2010

The President and Army Corps of Engineers Have Failed the Great Lakes but You Can Still Make a Difference

Dear Friends,

Today the worst fears of the Great Lakes states were realized after Illinois authorities announced that a Bighead Asian carp was found in Lake Calumet.

The invader was found past all electric barriers and locks and within striking distance of Lake Michigan. This carp is likely just one of many swimming dangerously close to the Great Lakes-- but we can still act to save the thousands of jobs that depend on the health of our fisheries.

Until now, critics have complained that Asian carp aren't a "real" threat until actual fish turn up past the barriers.

Well guess what?

They found one.

Responsibility for this potential economic and ecological disaster rests solely with President Obama. He must take action immediately to order the locks closed and produce an emergency plan to stop Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.

The consequences of inaction are just too great.


You can take action. Call the White House. One person can order the Army Corps of Engineers to close the locks tomorrow and shut down the Asian Carp Superhighway.

That person is President Obama.

ACTION: Please call President Obama at 202-456-1414 and urge him to take immediate steps to close the locks and set a plan in motion to protect the Great Lakes today!

By closing the locks now, based on finding an actual Asian carp, we can close the front door to the Great Lakes and the Obama administration can take action against any carp that have passed the barriers.

They have all the evidence they need to act - your voice can help build the public outcry that compels them to do something about Asian carp.

Army Corps Inaction is Unacceptable

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 Corps has implemented inadequate, half-hearted measures like poisoning canals in a few places.

They took months to even begin implementing the most basic precautions like installing mesh screens in front of the locks. It got worse in May, when the Corps issued a new Framework that completely takes lock closure off the table as a short-term solution.

At this point, closing the locks should be the first short-term response to the growing threat of Asian carp.

Today a Bighead carp was found dangerously close to Lake Michigan. That invader would not have even made it that far if the locks had been shut.

Our seven billion dollar Great Lakes fisheries deserve more than platitudes from Washington. The Great Lakes economy and countless jobs rely on the health of our lakes and rivers.

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: Call President Obama immediately at 202-456-1414 and urge him to take serious action to protect the Great Lakes today. The White House needs to understand how devastating Asian carp will be to the Great Lakes way of life.

Urge the President to uphold his pledge to defend the Great Lakes against destructive invasive species.

Renewed Efforts in the Courts

I want you all to be the first to know that my office is reviewing opportunities for new legal action to challenge the Army Corps' dereliction of duty in protecting our precious Great Lakes from Asian carp.

I've been working with Attorneys General from across the region to build a strong case that will keep our fight moving forward.

If the President and Congress won't act, we'll use every tool at our disposal, including our nation's legal system, to compel them to act to protect the vital interests of the Great Lakes region.

The thousands of job-makers who depend upon our bountiful resources deserve the best protection possible. Any marginal cost to Chicago barge companies pales in comparison to our $7 billion a year fisheries.

Keep Up the Fight!

Thank you for all you have done over the past several months to support our efforts to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. The fight is not yet over, and the more supporters we have on our side to build a public outcry, the better.

Please forward this email to your friends, family and neighbors and urge them to call the President to demand action right away. Be sure to forward this email to at least five friends today!

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.

Mike Cox, Attorney General

Asian carp found beyond Lake Michigan barrier

Detroit Free Press

June 23, 2010

Federal and state officials in Illinois said this afternoon that they found a live bighead carp in Lake Calumet, 6 miles from Lake Michigan, in an area near where a poisoning operation that ended June 4 took place.

This is the first time anyone has found an Asian carp, live or dead, beyond an electric barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Lockport. The nearest carp to the barrier was a dead one found last December after a massive poisoning of the shipping canal.

"This evidence should be a wake-up call that this is an urgent situation for the Great Lakes," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. "I strongly urge the Army Corps to close the locks now while they continue to determine the best way to permanently separate the Chicago Area Waterway System from the Great Lakes."

Read the full story

Asian carp pass barrier toward Great Lakes

Detroit News

June 23, 2010

A bighead carp has been found in Illinois' Lake Calumet, about six miles north of an electric barrier set up to stop the invasive fish from entering the Great Lakes.

Since the 1990s when they escaped from fish farms along the lower Mississippi River, the fish have been chomping their way upstream. With no stomachs and a hearty appetite, they are known for their ability to quickly take over native species.

In December, DNA of the fish, but no live specimens, was found in Chicago's Little Calumet Harbor, spawning a poisoning effort and a $78.5 million commitment from the White House to combat the invasive species.

Read the full story


Ryan said...

Ya, I've been keeping my eye on this. Absolutely sickens me! It's not like the Great Lakes don't already have enough problems!

The Average Joe Fisherman

Toyin O. said...

Interesting post.

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