Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Obama White House hosts Great Lakes meeting on efforts to combat Asian carp

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Obama Administration officials outlined progress and continued efforts to combat Asian carp in a meeting on Wednesday with Great Lakes governors, the White House said.

Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), John Goss, the recently appointed Asian Carp Director at CEQ, and other Obama Administration officials hosted Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, and other Great Lakes state representatives at the White House to discuss progress in implementing the Administration’s coordinated strategy for preventing invasive Asian carp from establishing populations in the Great Lakes.

Meeting attendees included representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Coast Guard, and officials from the States of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Minnesota.

The Obama Administration is executing a coordinated Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework of short- and long-term actions unifying federal, state, and local action in “an unparalleled effort to combat invasive species,” the White House said in a statement.

The Framework was developed in February and updated in May by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC), a team of federal, state, and local agencies working in concert to prevent Asian carp from establishing populations in the Great Lakes.

The Framework utilizes a three-fold approach:

•Targeted removal of Asian carp in the Chicago Area Waterway System and other potential pathways through electro fishing, netting, and application of Rotenone, a fish poison.

•Strengthening of the fish barrier system, including strengthening electric barriers, building physical barriers to prevent carp movement during flooding, and identifying and closing off smaller waterway connections to the Great Lakes.

•Developing long-term biological controls such as Asian carp-specific poisons, methods to disrupt spawning and egg viability, sonic barriers, and assessment of food sources and potential habitats.

The Administration has accomplished, or is on track to meet, all of the Framework milestones, the statement said

Progress to date:

•Commercial fishing crews removed approximately 104,000 pounds of Asian carp in the stretch of Illinois River between the Marseilles and Lockport Pools since May.

•More than 3,200 hours of labor have been deployed since February for the monitoring and sampling of the waters above the electric barrier for Asian carp.

•In May federal, state, and local partners utilized rotenone, a fish poison, to monitor for Asian carp in the Chicago area, recovering 134,000 pounds of fish from 40 species without finding any bighead or silver carp.

•The Army Corps awarded a $13.2 million contract in April for construction of concrete and chain-link fencing between the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and Des Plaines River to prevent fish passage around the electric barrier in flooding events where the two water bodies mix. Construction is on track for completion in October, 2010.

•Construction and operation of a third electric barrier is underway and on schedule to be completed in October 2010.

For more information about the Administration’s progress in combating Asian carp, visit www.asiancarp.org

 

 

Posted 9/16/2010

 

 

 

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