Chicago, IL (January 25, 2018) – Today the U.S. Senate voted to confirm the nomination of R.D. James as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. Alliance for the Great Lakes Vice President for Policy Molly Flanagan issued the following statement on Mr. James’ confirmation:

“Today the U.S. Senate voted to confirm the nomination of R.D. James as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. In this role, Mr. James will serve as the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will have significant influence in the fight to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

Asian carp pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes and are perilously close to Lake Michigan. Current defenses are inadequate. The silver carp found just nine miles from Lake Michigan this past summer originated below the electric barriers. These barriers are the last line of defense before Lake Michigan.

Any additional delay in completing the Brandon Road Lock & Dam Study is unacceptable. The draft study released for public comment in August recommended additional structural protections at this location to keep Asian carp from moving closer to the Lakes.

The people of the Great Lakes region, directly and through their elected officials, have spoken clearly on this issue. Bi-partisan groups of legislators in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have written to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging completion of the Corps’ final report (also referred to as the Chief’s Report) on the Brandon Road study no later than early 2019. A binational group of Mayors supports swift action at Brandon Road. And, more than 10,000 people wrote letters to the Corps urging swift action on implementing additional Asian carp measures during the study’s comment period.

The status quo on Asian carp is unacceptable. We all expect Mr. James to take his role in protecting the Great Lakes from the significant threat of Asian carp seriously. The Alliance for the Great Lakes looks forward to working with him to implement a solution and protect the Great Lakes.”

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Media Contact: Jennifer Caddick, (312) 445-9760, jcaddick@greatlakes.org

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