January 30, 2018 (South Haven, MI) – Earlier today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced a new partnership with Ohio, Ontario, and Wisconsin to stop Asian carp. Alliance for the Great Lakes Vice President for Policy Molly Flanagan delivered the following remarks at today’s press conference:

“Thank you, Governor Snyder, for inviting the Alliance for the Great Lakes to join you today and for your leadership and personal commitment to keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.  Thank you as well to Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario for joining Michigan in the Great Lakes Partnership to Block Asian Carp.

Asian carp pose a clear and present danger to the Great Lakes ecosystem. They also threaten the regional economy, especially our multi-billion dollar recreation, boating, and tourism sectors. The Great Lakes support a $7 billion a year fishing industry and a $16 billion a year recreational boating industry.

The status quo on Asian carp is unacceptable. We are in a race against the clock to keep them out of the Great Lakes, with the fish continuing to creep ever closer to Lake Michigan. And current defenses are inadequate. Last summer, a silver carp was found just nine miles from Lake Michigan in the Chicago waterways. The fish originated below the electric barriers, which are the last line of defense before the lake.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has identified Brandon Road Lock & Dam near Joliet, IL, as a critical location for implementing additional control measures to stop the movement of Asian carp. It is a logical choke point in the waterways connecting the Mississippi River Basin to the Great Lakes. Leadership from the state of Michigan and other jurisdictions will ensure that an actionable plan for Brandon Road is recommended to Congress for consideration sooner rather than later.

The people of the Great Lakes have spoken clearly, and repeatedly, that they don’t want Asian carp in their lakes. Broad support exists for quick action at Brandon Road Lock and Dam.

Thank you, Governor Snyder, for listening to the people of the region who are deeply concerned about the threat posed to the Great Lakes by Asian carp. And, thank you to Ohio, Ontario, and Wisconsin for joining with Michigan to be part of solving this problem. This partnership gives the states and province an important seat at the table to represent the region.

Today’s partnership shows that some jurisdictions in the region are willing to commit resources to ensure that the Brandon Road study is complete. The final report should be delivered to Congress without further delay.  Any additional delay by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in completing the Brandon Road Lock & Dam Study is unacceptable.

We applaud Governor Snyder for his leadership and the leaders of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario for coming together to address the threat of Asian carp. We look forward to working with you to block Asian carp and protect our Great Lakes.

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Video of the press event can be found here. And the Great Lakes Partnership to Block Asian Carp webpage here.

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

 

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