COLUMBUS – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to act quickly to prevent invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes and to use federal funding for the project.
In comments submitted to the Corps today, Attorney General DeWine weighed in on the Corps’ final report and plan for preventing nuisance species like Asian carp from moving from the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes.
“Time and time again those of us who care about the health and vitality of the Great Lakes and the tremendous economy they support have sounded the alarm on the need for fast, effective action to prevent the spread of Asian carp and other aquatic nuisance species to one of our country’s most valuable natural resources,” Attorney General DeWine wrote. “If the Army Corps moves forward with the Recommended Plan, it should do so urgently, effectively, and under full federal sponsorship.”
The Corps’ recommended plan involves the use of electrical fences, noise, and water jets at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, to keep invasive species from reaching the Great Lakes. In today’s comments and in previous comments, Attorney General DeWine said the better plan would be to close the lock. He also said that most, if not all, of the funding for the project should come from the federal government, and in addition to action at Brandon Lock, the Corps should look for other ways to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp.
Lake Erie is considered especially susceptible to invasive Asian carp, which could compete with native species, cause extensive damage to the ecosystem, and devastate the fishing and tourism industries.
Mike DeWine has long been an advocate for protecting the Great Lakes. As a U.S. Senator, he introduced both the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act and the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act to address invasive species attacking Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes.