An environmental group is critical of the latest strategy to keep the Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. Following Monday’s White House “carp summit” of Great Lakes governors, the Asian Carp Workgroup released a document outlining strategy for fighting the invasive fish. Natural Resources Defense Council attorney Tom Cmar says the document fails to address specific short and long term strategies which could keep the carp out of Lake Michigan. The plan does not, for example, call for an immediate closure of the locks on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, something the governors and attorneys general of most Great Lakes states have been requesting.

“There need to be a series of short term strategies, implemented right away, in order to make sure that any carp that have made their way past the electric barriers and are swimming through Chicago right now are not entering Lake Michigan and establishing a population,” says Cmar. Also, “this is a long term problem and the only reliable permament solution would involve permanently seperating the two ecocsystems (the Mississippi River and Great Lakes.” Until that happens, Cmar says “we are still going to be in the same place we are now . . . trying to figure out whether various steps like fish poisoning or closing the locks are enough.”

Reacting to the Obama Administration’s announcement, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Great Lakes United, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council and National Wildlife Federation were also critical. In a statement, the groups called the federal plan “hard to evaluate,” and noted that it “contains fuzzy timelines and lacks triggers for specific actions.” 

“Failure to stop the Asian carp will be devastating to the environment and the economy, which is why we will continue to urge state and federal authorities to do everything in their power to protect the largest source of freshwater in the world from this urgent threat,” the groups concluded.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:10 MP3)  AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:10 MP3)

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