On the Stop Asian Carp website, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox wrote:
"In December 2009, DNA testing found evidence that Asian carp were within a few miles of Lake Michigan, yet the locks which provide the carp with a direct path into Lake Michigan remain open. As a result, on behalf of the citizens of Michigan I sued the State of Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to force the immediate closure of these locks. Almost immediately, other Great Lakes states supported us in court, including New York, Wisconsin, Ohio and Minnesota. The Province of Ontario joined us as well. However, the Obama administration and the State of Illinois are opposing our suit and refuse to close the locks."
Several Asian Carp websites have ways that you can let Congress and the President know that you support an immediate closing of the locks that connect Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River system (where the Asian carp are). We encourage you to let your voice be heard.
These Stop Asian Carp websites also give additional information and links to news stories about the Asian Carp. According to the website:
"Bighead carp grow to 100 pounds, have no stomach and eat up to 40% of their bodyweight every day, eliminating food supplies for native fish and causing their populations to crash. The Great Lakes generate billions in economic activity that mean thousands of jobs for Michigan residents. Stopping Asian carp is an economic necessity for Michigan. We will not have a second chance once they enter the Great Lakes."
It is not conjecture that an exotic species can get into the Great Lakes and spread rapidly. The Great Lakes have a long history of damage from exotic species, including species that nobody thought could live in freshwater. While shortsighted politicians and business leaders worry about the economic effects from a Chicago lock shutdown, the potential damage to the Great Lakes ecology, and multi-billion dollar tourism and fishing industries throughout Great Lakes states and Ontario hugely dwarfs the potential economic losses in the Chicago area.
Waiting to close the locks while we discuss, and have meetings, and discuss some more is playing an economic and ecological version of Russian roulette, and the Asian Carp are the bullets. It is critical that the locks be closed before a breeding population of Asian Carp can be established in Lake Michigan. We encourage you to stay informed, spread the word, and urge others to demand that the government act NOW.
There has been some political progress -- Congressman Dave Camp (R-Midland) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) introduced the Stop Asian Carp Act to expedite completion of a study by the US Army Corps of Engineers to provide for a permanent separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, and the Invasive Species Act was passed by Congress. Their websites provide updates on the progress of implementation, such as: Camp Holds Army Corps of Engineers Accountable for Delayed Protection of the Great Lakes.
It is clear that continued public pressure is important for implementation of this important legislation. Here are two ways you can do this:
For more information:
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