Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur welcomed the release today by the Obama Administration of the 2012 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. The report outlines specific plans aimed at keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, including new technologies to improve Asian carp capture rates, prioritizing eDNA sampling for Asian carp, and improving and replacing barriers in the Chicago Area Waterway System.
"I am glad to see President Obama is elevating Asian carp as a priority, but I urge him to join us in our resolve to separate the watersheds. Permanent physical separation is the only guarantee for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes," said Kaptur.
Kaptur is a cosponsor of the Stop Asian Carp Act and recently joined her colleagues on the Great Lakes Task Force in urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed up the process for creating a physical barrier between the Chicago Waterway and Lake Michigan.
Congresswoman Kaptur recently held a well-attended public forum on Asian Carp. Community stakeholders from Northern Ohio heard from White House Asian Carp Director John Goss, and representatives from the EPA, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Geological Survey.
Kaptur noted the importance of the meeting, explaining, "Federal agencies need to hear from the people who would be affected by an invasion of Asian carp. That meeting allowed input from our region to be included in the new plan released today."
Congresswoman Kaptur represents the longest Ohio stretch of Lake Erie shoreline, the Great Lakes' largest fishery, which would suffer the most significant ecological and economic effects if Asian carp were to pass through the Chicago canals and into the Great Lakes.
The fishing industry in the Great Lakes creates $7 billion of economic activity for the region, and Lake Erie holds more fish than all other Great Lakes combined.
"We must protect our lake. That is why I have worked diligently with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to provide funding for critical programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and to accelerate the study to create a full physical barrier to prevent an invasion of Asian carp," said Kaptur.