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GLIN==> IJC Supports Emergency Funding to Operate the Carp Barrier

Emergency Action Needed to Protect Great Lakes from Asian Carp

IJC Supports Emergency Funding to Operate the Carp Barrier


The International Joint Commission of Canada and the United States (IJC)
today urged the U.S. Congress to approve emergency funding to keep the
original, demonstration dispersal barrier (Barrier 1) for Asian carp in
operation until the new, permanent barrier (Barrier 2) is completed.
Current plans are for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to turn off the
power to Barrier 1 on May 8 when Barrier 2 is turned on. However,
Barrier 2 is only half-finished so the level of protection to the Great
Lakes will fall short of what was promised, putting the health of the
ecosystem at risk.


"Providing maximum protection to the Great Lakes from a potential Asian
carp invasion is clearly an emergency that demands immediate action,"
said Dennis Schornack, American Chair of the IJC. "We cannot settle for
half measures that put the Great Lakes and a $4.5 billion fishery at


"Our governments are forced to spend millions of dollars annually to
combat the sea lamprey infestation in the Great Lakes. Asian carp have
the potential to be as destructive as or worse than sea lampreys," said
the Rt. Honorable Herb Gray, Canadian Chair of the IJC.


The proposed emergency funding has bipartisan support and is also backed
by a wide range of organizations, including the Great Lakes Fishery
Commission and the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council.


The IJC has been a strong and longtime supporter of the carp barrier and
commended both the U.S. government and the state of Illinois for their
commitment two years ago to fully fund construction of Barrier 2. This
permanent barrier was designed to have two electric arrays to provide a
second, redundant level of protection for the Great Lakes. The second
array also provides critical backup in case the other array malfunctions
or is turned off for maintenance.

The Commission published a special report, Then and Now: Aquatic Alien
Invasive Species, in 2004. It is available online at
<http://www.ijc.org/php/publications/pdf/ID1562.pdf>  and in print. 

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes
between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary
Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an
independent and objective advisor to the two governments. 

Washington   John Nevin    (202) 256-1368
Ottawa          Nick Heisler  (613) 992-8367