Your voices have been heard in Washington D.C. declaring the need to protect the Great Lakes from the invasion of Asian Carp! On September 29th I, along with my partners from organizations all over the Great Lakes region, flew to D.C. to deliver thousands of postcards asking President Obama to use his authority to require the Army Corps of Engineers to separate the waterway between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins.
The postcard outreach began in early August as a way to give people a voice on this issue and bring your opinion to Washington D.C. to let decision makers know we want action and we want it now. My colleagues and I are amazed at the response from the public and are reassured that this is a major issue people want to see resolved in the best way possible.
While we were there, we met with John Goss, the new Asian Carp Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. His job is to coordinate work being done at the state and federal levels to protect the Great Lakes from an Asian carp invasion and push for permanent solutions. He let us know that our help is needed educating new agency staff and elected officials after the elections to keep momentum toward a solution moving forward as quickly as possible. I left the meeting feeling encouraged that the Obama administration welcomes, and seriously considers our advocacy efforts.
As we discuss solutions, the Asian carp are swimming toward our Great Lakes. Recently, there has been a 20-pound sexually mature male Asian carp found only six miles from Lake Michigan, far beyond the last locks and electric barrier keeping the fish out of the lakes. Asian carp have also been found in the Kankakee River, posing a threat to Lake Erie. We know action is required immediately! Thank you to those who took time to voice their opinion. Even while we were in D.C. postcards continued to come in and are still arriving today.
Every voice makes a difference and will help bring us one step closer to a real solution. Please check our website for updates on this issue. Now that the elections are over, we will start educating the newly elected officials on our concerns about Asian carp. It is our mission to continue this work, and we will be looking for your support and involvement until the end.