The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing their study on Brandon Road next week and every indication is that it barely touches on industry concerns and has ignored concerns from the State of Illinois. As a result, our understanding is that this study will fall short of the necessary actions to address Asian carp & other aquatic invasive species in a way that that fall short of their goals. This is bad for any industry or company that uses the Chicago Area Waterways—or the waterways in general—as a part of their operations. A number of you have been pressing the Trump Administration to delay release but we have to assume the study will go out.
In response, the State of Illinois is hosting a Town Hall Tuesday, February 28th from 12-2pm at the Western Illinois University Quad City Campus (330 River Dr., Moline, IL) and industry must attend to show how important this issue is.
Illinois has asked for industry representatives to attend and show their concern and apply pressure to the Army Corps. I am asking that if your organization has employees, customers, partners, or anyone who has a stake in the waterways please send them to this event. We anticipate this release will have a significant amount of press along with it and it is important that industry shows it is paying attention.
Please share this email with your members, colleagues, and others who might be able to attend the town hall and help pressure the Army Corps.
From our friends at AWO: What are Asian Carp and Why Are They in U.S. Waters?
• Four invasive species are commonly known as Asian carp. Under the guidance of the USFWS, they were introduced into the U.S. for aquaculture and biological control of plankton.
• Some science indicates that Lake Michigan does not have the characteristics needed for the establishment of a carp population, such as a sufficient food source or the proper breeding environment.
• The discovery of two juvenile fish does not provide evidence that a new colony of fish has been established, or that the carp population migrated upstream.
• The ACRCC reported in its 2015 Control Framework that the leading edge of the Asian carp population has not changed since 2006.
Support measures to maintain navigation while preventing Asian Carp spread. Per the UOJ Members:
- The towing industry is dedicated to the highest standards of environmental stewardship and support robust measures to mitigate the movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS) between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes basins.
- UOJ members support cooperative and balanced solutions to the problems of invasive species, as an integrated approach can arrest the advance of the Asian carp, protect the Great Lakes ecosystem, and maintain safe, efficient and environmentally sound navigation on vital commercial waterways.
- For more than a decade, the tugboat, towboat and barge industry has worked in partnership with key federal and state agencies to develop long-term solutions to prevent the spread of invasive species while maintaining the nation’s vital commercial waterways.
- Since 2010, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources estimates the Asian carp population within the Dresden Pool area has decreased by 68% due to overfishing efforts.