Remind the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that Asian carp are an urgent threat that need immediate attention and are a priority for you and your community.
Asian carp, specifically silver and bighead carp, pose a serious and urgent threat to the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Erie. If established in the Great Lakes, these destructive fish would thrive in Lake Erie, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, threatening its $1 billion fishing industry and exacerbating the toxic algae plaguing the lake.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released its draft Brandon Road Study, a detailed look at the Corps’ tentative plan to install protections against Asian carp at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River in Joliet, IL. For an overview of the report’s findings, check out Alliance for the Great Lakes' blog.
The Army Corps is holding a public comment period through November 16th. Add your name and comments below to tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that:
Asian carp are an urgent problem that require immediate action;
The Corps should move swiftly to complete the Brandon Road Feasibility Study so that additional protections can be put into place;
The Corps’ plan is not a permanent fix, additional technologies and a two-way solution are still needed; and
In the meantime, the threat of aquatic invasive species must continue to be monitored and addressed.
I am adding my name in support of the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) identified in the draft study in the Brandon Road Feasibility Study. Lake Erie boasts a $1 billion fishing industry and in Ohio, a $14 billion tourism economy, supporting more 120,000 jobs. Asian carp are a threat to Ohio’s economy. Lake Erie’s prized walleye, perch, and bass species would be at risk and the carp will exacerbate the toxic algae problem in Lake Erie.
While states like Ohio close their Mississippi/Ohio Rivers and Great Lakes watersheds’ connections, these invasive species are continuing to swim toward Lake Michigan, and we know that the existing control measures are not enough to stop them. This is an urgent problem and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must act immediately to implement additional protections against Asian carp.
The most recent and alarming wake-up call was the June discovery of an adult Silverhead carp just 9 miles from Lake Michigan. Autopsy results confirm that the fish spent most of its life south of the existing electric barriers. This means the Asian carp made its way past the existing series of electric barriers, which are clearly not 100% effective in stopping the movement of fish. This is just the latest in a series of warning signs underscoring the need for immediate action to prevent Asian carp from moving closer to the Great Lakes.
It is critical that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers move quickly to complete and implement the proposed plan for additional protections at Brand Road Lock and Dam. However it is equally important to note that this is not a permanent fix. There are serious limitations to the proposed plan. Additional solutions are still needed to prevent Asian carp from ever reaching the Great Lakes and the existing electric barrier must remain on at all times.
Further, a two-way solution is still needed. The proposed plan does not prevent transfer of aquatic invasive species from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River Basin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should pursue a two-way solution that reduces the risk of transfer of all aquatic invasive species between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basins.
In conclusion, I urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to act swiftly to complete and implement its TSP. It should continue working to identify a permanent solution that addresses the threat of Asian carp and all aquatic invasive species. In the long term, a holistic, permanent two-way solution will be most beneficial and cost-effective for all who enjoy and rely on the Great Lakes.
Thank you for your consideration.