Skip to comments.Obama releases Asian carp battle plan; states to file appeal on locks
Posted on 12/16/2010 3:25:30 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
The Obama administration on Thursday released its 2011 battle plan in the ongoing fight to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes, a plan that calls for no waterway closures in the Chicago area. Less than three hours later, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced plans to push ahead with a court fight to order the waterways closed.
Earlier this month, federal Judge Robert Dow Jr. denied a request for a preliminary injunction by Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania to close two navigation locks in Chicago as an emergency, stopgap measure to block the carp.
The judge did not rule on the larger request by the states to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move ahead with plans to build a permanent barrier on the canal system to re-create the natural separation between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi basin that the Chicago canals destroyed over a century ago.
Cox said the five-state coalition is pressing ahead with its case to permanently separate the basins, but in the meantime the states are going to take their case to close the locks to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
"Although our suit continues to move forward, the urgent threat that Asian carp pose requires that we aggressively pursue this preliminary injunction," Cox said in a statement. "Until the federal government takes effective action, Michigan and our Great Lakes partners will take full advantage of every opportunity we have to ensure our livelihood is not destroyed by Asian carp."
It will be Cox's fourth attempt this year to get the courts to close the locks; the U.S. Supreme Court twice denied the request before Dow declined it on Dec. 2.
Business groups and many political leaders in Illinois fiercely opposed the idea of closing the locks because of the impact it could have on barge traffic, recreational boats, barge-dependent industries and floodwater management in the Chicago area.
In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, the Obama administration released its "Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework," a 63-page document put together by 21 state and federal agencies that calls for increased "environmental" DNA testing for Asian carp in the Chicago canal system, more assessments of the effectiveness of an electric barrier system and a plan to develop new carp traps and nets, among other things.
"The Obama administration has taken an aggressive, unprecedented approach to protect our Great Lakes and the communities and economies that depend on them from the Asian carp," John Goss, Asian carp director for the Whitehouse Council on Environmental Quality, said in a news release.
"This framework builds on the successes we accomplished in 2010 by leveraging cross government regional coordination on immediate preventative actions and multi-tiered strategies for the longer term."
Conservationists weren't wowed. They've been critical of the Obama's administration's slow progress toward what they see as the only real solution to the problem - physically plugging the canals with permanent barriers.
"The 'plan' remains an unintegrated menu of disconnected potential actions, random activities, and no sense of what will be done with new evidence of carp on emergency or long-term basis," said Henry Henderson of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "There is no articulated strategy, no sense of urgency, no apparent commitment to use the best tools such as (environmental) DNA to focus immediate action and build toward a permanent solution."
The industry group Unlock our Jobs expressed gratitude that the 2011 plan doesn't call for closure of any waterways, but it called the continued use of environmental DNA to track the fish "quite troubling."
Water samples taken above the electric barrier in the past year have yielded evidence of Asian carp all over the Chicago metropolitan area, but industry groups have questioned whether a positive sample means a live fish is in the area.
"It (environmental DNA sampling) has not been peer-tested and - even further - has been seriously questioned by many in the scientific community," said Mark Biel, chairman of UnLock Our Jobs.
Caught in the middle of the fight over how to deal with one of the most vexing environmental and economic problems to face the Great Lakes in modern times is Goss, whom many in the media have dubbed the "carp czar."
In an interview Wednesday, Goss noted that it is his job to keep the carp from getting into the lakes, but he acknowledged that responsibility comes with no real authority to take action.
"It's my job to coordinate the resources to stop the fish, that's accurate," he said. "I don't have full authority to order any actions."
When asked who will be held accountable if the federal efforts fail to keep the fish from invading, Goss paused for nine seconds before answering: "Well, Congress hasn't given anybody that job, that I know of."
We're so screwed.
it is my understanding that Obama will issue amnesty to all Asian carp already in the United States.
Action will be taken only against those carp entering the country after the new year.
Obama is so full of carp that this doesn’t bother him.
For the Midwest Ping List?
That is the most brilliantly sardonic thing I’ve read all day. :)
The key to dealing with the Asian Carp is to get McDonalds’ chefs to come up with a McCarp sandwich or McCarp nuggets.
Before you know it, environmentalists will be screaming to save the carp and we’ll be raising Asian carp on farms.
Screwed? If these carp are the same kind they deep fry (whole, but gutted) and eat in certain Asian countries... YUM!!
As it is he’s appointed two czars to deal with this issue alone. The man is an idiot.
“Obama releases Asian carp battle plan”
Finally a war Dear Leader can sink his teeth in to.
These carp are those fun carp, that leap out of the water when you approach with a boat. They jump into the boat, and cause injuries. But they are also a tourist draw. They may be good eating too if marketed. I would also guess they are a food staple in China. The great lakes have enough problems with lampreys, now they want to add more?
There are strict limits on commercial sale of fish from the great lakes due to mercury contamination. Even if they could be sold commercially it would never equal the revenue generated by the sportfishing industry.
I assumed Carp would be one of his favorite meals.
Rename em American Carp and Obama will call out the navy to stop em.
...a plan that calls for no waterway closures in the Chicago area.
The invasive species doesn't see an invasive species as a problem.
Obama is NOT an American in more ways than one. He simply does not care about what the average American cares about.
The tyranny of the ruling class should not and will not be tolerated.
We should no longer let a tiny group of self important, crooked, blow hards destroy the greatest country on earth.
Less crap is surely what we need, neeeeever mind!!!!
More Ooooblaaablaaa "solutions". Now it is all fixed.
The sportfishing industry is in the 10 billion dollar range for Michigan alone. Its due to the variety of fish that are caught here and carp will never be a big sportfishing industry.
Among the commonly caught fish are yellow perch, white perch, white bass, walleye, smallmouth bass, round whitefish, rock bass, rainbow smelt, pink salmon, northern pike, muskellunge, lake whitefish, lake trout, lake sturgeon, drum, coho salmon, chinook salmon, burbot, brown trout, brook trout, atlantic salmon, alewife, largemouth bass, panfish, grayling and many more.