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Monday, November 23, 2009

A Lot to Carp About...

We're welcoming a guest post today, from River Alliance aquatic invasive species chief Laura MacFarland, alerting all you readers to a very scary threat to the Great Lakes--Asian Carp. These huge, hungry invaders are something right out of a river horror movie, and action is needed to get the authorities that be to do what needs to be done (isn't it always?...) to stop the Carp's spread. Read on, river rats, read on...

"The Army Corps and Notre Dame University has detected DNA evidence of Asian Carp ABOVE the electric barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the Cal-Sag Channel and the Calumet River. That means the fish could be within 6 miles of Lake Michigan with only navigational locks (insufficient barriers) standing in their way.

The River Alliance of Wisconsin is writing the Council of Great Lakes Governors to encourage them to ask the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency, which will allow Federal agencies to enact emergency measures to prevent the invasion of Asian carp from the Chicago Shipping and Sanitary Canal into Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes.

The federal government must declare a state of emergency, so that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard have the authority to do what is necessary to stop the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. This is the opportune time for such measures because of the planned shut down of the electric barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal for maintenance, and due to recently revealed hydrological connections between the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) with the Des Plaines River and the Illinois & Michigan Canal (I & M Canal) during high flows and possibly low flows as well.

Call your member of Congress AND the Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and urge them to:

- Tell the Corps to immediately close all controlling locks in Chicago waterways that lead to Lake Michigan.

- Tell the Corps to take any and all monitoring and control efforts to keep the Asian carp at bay and the Great Lakes safe.

- The risk is too great to delay taking action, we must act today to save the Great Lakes from this devastating invasive species.

To reach your member of US Congress, you may call the Capitol Switchboard at: 202-224-3121

To reach IL DNR Director Marc Miller, you may call 217-785-0075"

Check out the video clip below to see just how dangerous these interlopers are:

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