Fighting against Asian carp

An Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes would forever change our way of life and threaten a fishing industry that contributes roughly $7 billion to the regional economy. If these voracious fish were to get into the Great Lakes, the environmental and economic impacts would be permanent and devastating. 

We must continue to support all efforts to fight Asian carp. I recently co-sponsored a resolution supporting the recommendations of the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes. 

The Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee was formed in May 2014 with the goal of reaching consensus on short- and long-term measures to prevent Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species from moving between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 supports the committee’s recommendations to implement immediate control technologies at Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Illinois, and to further investigate the specific system of control points for long-term movement of aquatic invasive species into and out of the Great Lakes. 

Once aquatic invasive species like Asian carp are established, it is nearly impossible to eradicate them — making the risk of leaving our lakes vulnerable to invasion unacceptable. Invasive species already in the Great Lakes cost the region more than $100 million per year, and Asian carp could dramatically add to this cost. 

We need action to help prevent a disaster that would decimate our fishing, tourism and boating industries and wreak havoc on the ecosystems of the Great Lakes and all its inland lakes and rivers.