Newspapers calling for faster action on Asian carp

The rally cry for faster action on Asian carp continues to grow, with more newspapers calling on federal officials to speed up efforts to keep the menacing fish from invading the Great Lakes.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, has introduced a federal budget amendment that would force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete, within 18 months, a study of how best to halt the movement of Asian carp and other invasive species between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins.

The problem is that Congress can’t agree on a 2012 federal budget. As a result, the fate of Sen. Stabenow’s Stop Asian Carp Amendment is uncertain.

An employee with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service holds a bighead carp. (USFWS photo)

Sen. Stabenow’s amendment warrants immediate approval. It’s the only way the Army Corps will speed up its Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS), which is currently slated for completion in mid-2015.

The Great Lakes can’t wait four years for the Army Corps to figure out how to solve the Asian carp crisis. The ravenous fish are on the verge of invading Lake Michigan.

Newspapers around the region have been publishing editorials recently calling on Congress to take the Asian carp threat seriously and act accordingly.

The Buffalo News said the Stabenow amendment “could go a long way toward protecting the lakes from this destructive fish … the Asian carp isn’t waiting for the corps to act, as it chews its way closer to the Great Lakes and an ecosystem supporting an annual $7 billion sport fishing industry. Read the complete editorial here.

The Battle Creek Enquirer said Congress should take up the Stabenow amendment, regardless of whether it’s part of the federal budget debate. “We agree with the amendment’s 18-month deadline, and hope that all senators in the Great Lakes region, regardless of party, will help put pressure on the Army Corps to press ahead with efforts to protect this valuable water system as quickly as possible,” the newspaper said in an editorial. Read the rest of the editorial here.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer said the Stabenow amendment would put the Army Corps of Engineers “on notice that carp take precedence over complacency. Her proposed Stop Asian Carp amendment to the omnibus spending bill would deliver the boot to that indolent bureaucracy.” Read the complete editorial here.

Army Corps officials have repeatedly said that they take their marching orders from Congress. It’s time for Congress to tell the Army Corps to march in double time to complete the Asian carp study.

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One Response to Newspapers calling for faster action on Asian carp

  1. Tom Matych says:

    The feds admit we have native predators for juvenile Asian Carp. It seems we cannot control where they go, but we can control how many predators they run into. Hard to survive a spawn in a crowd. There’s no logical reason to wait to restore native fish/predator populations, and make it as hard as possible for Asian carp to establish populations in our lakes.