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E-M:/ GLIN Content:/ Asian Carp Invasion

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

From: "Bevacqua, Frank" <bevacquaf@washington.ijc.org>
To: "'glin-announce@great-lakes.net'" <glin-announce@great-lakes.net>
Subject: GLIN==> News Release: Agencies Take Emergency Action To Defend 
Against As
         ian Carp Invasion
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 14:55:01 -0500
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Emergency Funds Made Available to Protect the Great Lakes From Large, 
Invasive Fish

CHICAGO, IL Three United States federal agencies, the International Joint 
Commission, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission have joined together to 
defend against an invasive species threat to the Great Lakes region by 
providing emergency funds to help prevent the spread of Asian carp. The 
funds were made available to supply backup power hardware for an electrical 
barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. This barrier is the first 
and currently, only line of defense against the Asian carp. These fish are 
extremely prolific, rapidly advancing their way up the Mississippi River 
toward the Great Lakes via the canal and threatening the biological 
integrity of the Great Lakes. The hardware will ensure that a power outage 
will not allow these carp to invade the Great Lakes. This action marks an 
unprecedented level of speed and cooperation by agencies and stakeholders 
as they respond in real time to the migration of this invasive species.

"The Great Lakes benefit millions of Americans and Canadians who rely on 
them for food, water, recreation, and livelihoods," said Ambassador Mary 
Beth West, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. "If Asian carp migrate into 
the Great Lakes, they could significantly threaten this shared natural 
resource." Purchase and installation of backup power hardware for the 
electrical barrier is expected to cost $300,000. The U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency provided $150,000 for this purpose and the Corps of 
Engineers contributed in-kind services amounting to $50,000. Working 
through the International Joint Commission and the Great Lakes Fishery 
Commission, the United States Department of State provided $170,000 last 
August to assist in efforts to combat the carp migration, $100,000 of which 
will be applied to the purchase backup power hardware.

Asian carp are a significant threat to the Great Lakes because of their 
size, fecundity, and ability to consume large amounts of food. Asian carp 
can grow to 100 pounds and up to four feet long. They are well-suited to 
the climate of the Great Lakes region, which is similar to their native 
Eastern Hemisphere habitats. It is expected they would compete for food 
with the valuable sport and commercial fish. If they entered the system, 
they could become a dominant species in the Great Lakes.

Two species of Asian carp the silver and the bighead carps escaped into the 
Mississippi River from southern aquaculture facilities in the 1980s and 
significantly expanded their range during large floods in the early 1990s. 
Steadily, the carp have made their way northward, becoming the most 
abundant species in some areas of the Mississippi, out-competing native 
fish, and causing severe hardship to the people who fish the river. The 
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal connects the Mississippi River to the Great 
Lakes. The canal feeds into the Des Plaines River; currently, the carp are 
in the Des Plaines River, approximately 50 miles from Lake Michigan.

G. Tracy Mehan, III, Assistant Administrator for Water at the Environmental 
Protection Agency, stated, "The specter of large, prolific Asian carp in 
the Great Lakes has motivated our coalition of government agencies to act 
swiftly. We have learned from hard experience the environmental and 
economic havoc caused in the Great Lakes by aquatic invasive species such 
as zebra mussels, sea lamprey, and round gobies. The latest threat from 
Asian carp underscores the serious problems posed by invasive species and 
the urgent need to prevent further introductions. The Great Lakes simply 
cannot afford another aquatic invasion."

"Fortunately, we do have a first line of defense against the Asian carp 
invaders," said Brigadier General Steven R. Hawkins, commander of the Great 
Lakes and Ohio River Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "In April, 
2002, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of an 
electrical fish barrier. The barrier was designed as a demonstration 
project to study the effectiveness of preventing migration of species 
between the Mississippi and Great Lakes watersheds. The barrier uses 
electricity to repel fish and hopefully will prevent fish passage. Because 
the barrier relies on electricity, we were concerned that a simple power 
outage could allow Asian carp to sneak past. The emergency funds from the 
federal and binational partners have allowed the Corps to purchase the 
backup generator we need to ensure an unbroken supply of power to the 
barrier." To date, silver and bighead carp have not been sighted upstream 
of this barrier.

Agencies and stakeholders will continue to work to prevent the migration of 
Asian carp and other invasive species through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship 
Canal. Partners in this effort include: Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, 
Commonwealth Edison, the Council of Great Lakes Governors, the Dispersal 
Barrier Advisory Panel, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Great Lakes 
Sportfishing Council, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the 
International Joint Commission, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District 
of Greater Chicago, Midwest Generation, the Mississippi Interstate 
Cooperative Resource Association, the New York Department of Environmental 
Conservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Sea Grant, 
and other state, nongovernmental, and academic partners.


Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Contact: Marc Gaden

734-662-3209 x. 14

International Joint Commission

Contact: Frank Bevacqua


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Contact: Lynne Whelan

312-353-6400 x1300

U.S. Department of State

Contact: Karla Heidelberg


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Contact: Phillippa Cannon


Alex J. Sagady & Associates  http://my.voyager.net/~ajs/sagady.pdf

Environmental Enforcement, Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste/Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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