Governor to Governor: We Cannot Afford to Wait Any Longer” on Asian Carp Issue

Telling him, “We cannot afford to wait any longer to take action,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has dispatched a letter today to the Governor of Illinois urging him to join Michigan and other Midwestern states and provinces in a partnership to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

Snyder’s letter outlines a partnership agreement that would provide up to $8 million of Michigan funds to support the Brandon Road lock and dam project to help block the entry of the harmful and invasive species and keep it from decimating commercial and sport fishing and boating throughout the entire Great Lakes region.

Saying, “We cannot afford to wait any longer to take action,” Snyder tells Gov. Bruce Rauner, “The entry of Asian carp into the Great Lakes would have a devastating, permanent impact not only in Michigan, but in every Midwestern state or province that shares this shoreline. The strength, protection and sustainability of our economy, environment, industries and public health are at stake.”

The purpose of this agreement is to provide transparent, efficient, and effective support to the project in partnership between the states of Michigan and Illinois. As the non-federal sponsor for the Brandon Road project, the State of Illinois is the lead agency with jurisdiction, supervision and regulatory permitting authority over Illinois public waters which specifically includes the project. To satisfy the operation and maintenance costs of this non-federal sponsorship, the State of Michigan has committed a down-payment of up to $8 million of state funds in fiscal year 2019.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released its updated feasibility report on Brandon Road to help prevent invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. The report includes infrastructure and technology upgrades, such as air bubble curtains, cameras, and flushing jets, to prevent the fish from swimming into the lock and to Lake Michigan. This project is the next step in protecting the Great Lakes from Asian carp while ensuring navigation remains safe, reliable, and efficient through the interconnected waterways of Illinois and the Great Lakes.

A recent public opinion poll shows an overwhelming majority of people who live near the Great Lakes support immediate action to install additional structural protections that can keep Asian carp from moving out of Illinois rivers and into the Great Lakes. The poll – commissioned by the Great Lakes Partnership to Block Asian Carp – is the first effort to survey residents in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin about their understanding of the risk of invasive carp.

Keith Creagh is Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says, “Residents and leading stakeholders across the Great Lakes Basin are almost unanimous in their belief that more needs to be done to stop Asian carp.” The DNR Chief adds, “Michigan stands ready to provide funding to support immediate action by the Army Corps because we know their actions will provide additional protections for the Great Lakes.”

To hear what Illinois residents have to say about the devastating effects Asian carp have had on recreation and commercial fishing in their once-thriving communities on the Illinois River, watch a video shot on location in Bath, Chillicothe, and Havana, Illinois – “ground zero” for Asian carp, which is linked below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVM5EQdzXtk&feature=youtu.be

To learn more about Michigan’s efforts to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp, visit online by clicking this link:

http://www.BlockAsianCarp.org 

The photo of the Brandon Rock Lock & Dam sign accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.