Chicago, IL (March 28, 2018) – In late January, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced a new partnership with Ohio, Ontario, and Wisconsin to stop Asian carp. The jurisdictions stepped up to commit resources to ensure that Asian carp control measures planned for waterways in Illinois are funded. Today, Governor Snyder announced the city of Chicago is joining the partnership.

Alliance for the Great Lakes Vice President for Policy Molly Flanagan issued the following statement on the announcement:

“Asian carp pose a clear and present danger to the Great Lakes. We are pleased to see important leadership from the city of Chicago on this issue. We applaud Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to join with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and the leaders of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario to be a part of stopping Asian carp.

Joining this partnership ensures the city of Chicago has an important seat at the table to solve this problem and prevent Asian carp from harming the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Mayor Emanuel has spurred significant investment in Chicago’s downtown riverfront and has set forth a vision for Chicago’s rivers in the report Our Great Rivers Vision. Chicago would be the first in the Great Lakes region to feel the impacts of an Asian carp invasion, impeding the city’s vision for its rivers.

The status quo on Asian carp is unacceptable. Leadership from Michigan, the city of Chicago, along with Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario by committing resources to stopping Asian carp demonstrates the region’s deep concern about this issue.

Unfortunately, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner continues to obstruct progress on keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The governor and his staff have downplayed the urgency of the threat Asian carp pose to the Great Lakes and efforts to implement additional Asian carp measures at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, IL. The facility is a logical choke point in the waterways connecting the Mississippi River Basin to the Great Lakes.

We are in a race against the clock to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, with the fish continuing to creep ever closer to Lake Michigan. We are disappointed at Governor Rauner’s lack of leadership on this issue. His lack of action could bring irreparable harm to Chicago’s waterways, Lake Michigan, and the entire Great Lakes region.  

However, we are heartened by today’s announcement from the city of Chicago. We applaud the efforts of Mayor Emanuel, Governor Snyder, and the leaders of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario to stop Asian carp and protect the Great Lakes. The city, states, and province are doing what it takes to protect our region’s greatest asset – the Great Lakes.”

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

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