U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-13th-IL) issued the following remarks after the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee released its 2011 Asian Carp Strategy Control Framework, a multi-agency plan outlining 45 short- and long-term actions to keep Asian carp from establishing self-sustaining populations in the Great Lakes:
"I'm encouraged that the Administration is working proactively to address the Asian carp threat and ensure that our state, local, and federal agencies have a coordinated action plan in place for the coming year. This 45-point framework continues many of the efforts we in Illinois and in Congress have been working on for the last decade, and it expands on those strategies using the latest technologies. The framework also outlines several new goals for 2011, including improved genetic tracking of the fish and methods of reducing the carp's food supply. These science-based solutions offer our best hope for stopping the carp from reaching the lakes and potentially devastating the ecosystem and fishing industries.
"While the Administration also will continue to examine the scientific merits of hydrological separation, I'm pleased the framework does not push forward with any misguided plans to close down Chicago's navigational waterways, as some have suggested. Time and again, our environmental managers have rejected this approach -- not only because it won't stop the carp -- but because it could devastate Chicago jobs, flood basements, and raise shipping costs throughout the Midwest. Instead, we must continue to work together across state and party lines to do what's best for our environment and our economy.
"The framework also outlines some of the remarkable progress we have made over the last year, including the installation of a third electronic barrier, the new 13-mile fence along the Des Plaines River, and enacting my Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act, which the President signed into law Tuesday. Members across the Great Lakes worked together to make these initiatives successful, and I hope to continue that partnership over the coming year."