Groups Want Action on Asian Carp Problem

Groups call for the construction of a permanent barrier to separate the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River system

09-30-2010 // Press Staff Writer - The Press
Asian Carp

This excerpt is from an article appearing in the The Press

Representatives of Great Lakes environmental groups let President Barack Obama know how they feel about the encroachment of the Asian carp on the lakes.

More than 10,000 post cards were hand delivered in Washington, D.C., urging the president to demand federal regulators implement a solution, including the construction of a permanent barrier to separate the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River system – considered the main route the carp are following to reach the lakes.

“Our message from people around the region couldn’t be clearer: `We cannot wait any longer. We want a permanent solution that will protect our Great Lakes way of life,’ “ said Cheryl Mendoza, associate director of Freshwater Future.

The groups argue a permanent barrier between the two watersheds – which they say was “artificially” connected about 100 years ago to direct Chicago’s wastewater away from Lake Michigan – is the only guaranteed way to keep Asian carp and other destructive species from traveling between the two basins.

In June, a live Asian carp was caught by commercial fishermen in Lake Calumet near Chicago – past an electrical barrier designed to stop it. And earlier DNA sampling has found traces of the carp in the Chicago Area Waterway System, a tributary of the Great Lakes

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“This crisis will only end when their watery path is cut off,” said Marc Smith, senior policy manager with the National Wildlife Federation. “We have the solutions to beat back the Asian carp and protect our lakes, our economy, and our way of life.

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