The Michigan Congressional Delegation is “alarmed” and “dismayed” at the slow pace of the rapid response efforts to halt the progress of the voracious Asian Carp. In a strongly worded letter to the Army, Coast Guard, EPA and Fish and Wildlife Agency, the delegation wrote:
“We are very alarmed at the length of time it is taking to formulate a comprehensive response plan. The first positive detection of eDNA above the electrical dispersal barrier was in November 2009, with subsequent positive detections. We are also dismayed at recent comments made to the media that several hundred carp would need to be detected before the federal agencies would change their current plan of dealing with this invasive species.” All 17 members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation signed the January 21st letter.
In the letter, the lawmakers demand that the agencies submit a comprehensive rapid response plan to the Michigan delegation by the close of business on Friday, February 5th. The White House has agreed to meet with the Great Lakes Governors during the first week in February to discuss the Asian carp crisis and there has been speculation that they may reveal a comprehensive plan at this meeting. But the Michigan delegation isn’t leaving anything to chance since this situation is so urgent.
The letter was spurred by the new evidence of Asian Carp eDNA (or environmental DNA) in Calumet Harbor, the mouth of Lake Michigan. This is troubling since eDNA indicates the presence of live fish. The eDNA is cell tissue from the fish that breaks down within six to 48 hours, according to the Nature Conservancy’s Linsay Chadderton.