Stop the Carp

12-07-2011 // Ernst-Ulrich Franzen - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial

This excerpt is from a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial

Stopping the Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan is not a political issue. The carp is neither Republican nor Democrat. The fish doesn't vote; there is no carp constituency, even among fish fry aficionados.

It's a simple science and engineering problem with a simple science and engineering answer: Close the gateway between the Mississippi River basin where the leaping fish now dominates and the Great Lakes basin, which it would like to dominate.

So you don't have to be blue or red or for that matter purple to believe that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state of Illinois need to do more to stop this invasive species from wreaking havoc in the Great Lakes basin, and that the Corps needs to move faster on a study . You just have to believe that the fish poses a real threat to the waterways around Lake Michigan.

Which is why Wisconsin Sens. Herb Kohl and Ron Johnson need to support the Stop Asian Carp amendment introduced by their Democratic colleague from Michigan, Sen. Debbie Stabenow. The amendment to H.R. 2354, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2012, requires the Corps to expedite its study on options to prevent the carp from entering the lake.

Completion of the study is essential to building a permanent barrier, so the study needs to be done as quickly as possible. Right now, the Corps is saying it won't be done until 2015. The National Wildlife Federation says that's unacceptable. And the federation is right. The amendment gives the Army 18 months to finish the study. Given the fact that the Army was commissioned to do the study, in 2007, that's a more than reasonable deadline.

Now is the time to put more pressure on the Corps, and this amendment is the way to do it. Johnson and Kohl should get on board.

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