We learned weeks ago that the DNA of Asian Carp was present beyond the electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal but from Congress and the White House we only heard silence. Then last week closed with a resounding bipartisan cry from Congress to the region’s state houses for the Asian Carp to be stopped – no matter what it takes.
Fifty members of the US Congress and numerous State Lawmakers released letters calling for the locks to be closed until we know more; for the voltage on the electronic barrier to be turned up; and for consideration of plans for a permanent separation of the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Basins.
The previous week, the Administration announced a $13 million emergency grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to help stop the voracious carp from entering the lakes’ ecosystems. HOW fully supports all these efforts and we are grateful that Congress broke their silence with such a strong message. Below are the names of the Members of Congress that signed the letter.
In the Senate, Carl Levin (Mich.), George Voinovich(OH), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Russ Feingold (Wisc.), Sherrod Brown (OH), Robert Casey (PA), Herb Kohl (Wisc.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Al Franken (Minn.), Charles Schumer (NY), Kirstin Gillibrand (NY) and Ronald Burris (Ill.) have signed the letter. In the House, Reps. Vern Ehlers (Mich.), Louis Slaughter (NY), John Dingell (Mich.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Nancy Kaptur (OH), Sandy Levin (Mich.), Brian Higgins (NY), July Biggert (Ill.), Gwen Moore (Wisc.), Mike Quigley (Ill.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Betty Sutton (OH), John Conyers (Mich.), Fred Upton (Mich.), Candice Miller (Mich.), Tim Brown (Ind.), Pete Visclosky (Ind.), Mike Rogers (Mich.), Dave Camp (Mich.), Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.), Dale Kildee (Mich.), Steve LaTourette (OH), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA), Janice Schakowsky (Ill.), Mark Schauer (Mich.), Thad McCotter (Mich.), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), Tim Ryan (OH), Bart Stupak (Mich.), Robert Latta (OH), Charles Wilson (OH), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Tom Petri (Wisc.), Steve Kagan (Wisc.), James Sensenbrenner (Wisc.), Ron Kind (Wisc.), Carolyn Kilpatrick (Mich.), Paul Ryan (Wisc.)and Louis Gutierrez (Ill.).
In another letter, Senate Majority Leader Dick Durban (Ill.) wrote to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the US Coast Guard, the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service urging them to make every effort to prevent the carp from getting into the lakes.
“At this point, the situation calls for a long-term, comprehensive Asian carp eradication plan to guide federal efforts. I encourage you to work with your fellow agencies to establish and convey to Congress such a plan as soon as practicable,” Sen. Durban wrote.
Thank you, to all who have taken on this issue as it is of the greatest urgency and it can not be sidelined by healthcare, the holidays or anything else. You can bet that the carp won’t be tempted by such red herrings.