Trott Urges President to Lift Delay, Protect Great Lakes from Asian Carp
March 3, 2017
WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Representative Dave Trott (MI-11) joined a bipartisan delegation of his colleagues representing Great Lakes states in sending a letter to President Trump in response to reports that the President placed a delay on the release of a plan to move forward with the electric barrier at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Illinois River.
In addition to the letter, Rep. Dave Trott issued the following statement:
"Asian carp have swiftly made their way up the Mississippi River, destroying nearly every ecosystem in their path and, recently, they were identified just south of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam. Brandon Road is a critical choke-point in the Great Lakes watershed, and an electric barrier at this location is vital in preventing this destructive invasive species' infiltration of Lake Michigan.
"The plans for this location have been in the works for years, and I urge the President to take a closer look at what's at stake. Our magnificent Great Lakes are not only one of our country's most prized natural wonders, they also provide 95% of the U.S.' fresh drinking water, and support over $20 billion in recreational and commercial industries a year. Today, one of the gravest threats they face is the infiltration of Asian Carp and we cannot stand idly by as this invasive species swims full-bore towards Lake Michigan."
A PDF of the signed letter is available here.
Full text of the letter is as follows:
March 3, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
This letter is intended to address an urgent concern relative to the Great Lakes region.
As you know, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) first announced the Brandon Road Lock and Dam evaluation in April 2015 as part of the ongoing Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basin Study. This evaluation is intended to determine the possibility of establishing preventative measures against an invasion of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes.
The Corps initially announced that a draft of the Brandon Road report would be released on February 28, 2017. Just before midnight on February 27, however, the Corps announced the will delay this release until further notice.
The importance of protecting our vulnerable Great Lakes freshwater system from this voracious invasive species cannot be overstated. The release of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam evaluation is an essential next step in a process initiated to safeguard the economic viability of our region's $7 billion sport fishing market, $16 billion boating industry, and $18 billion hunting and wildlife observation market. Asian Carp's introduction into this system would have serious economic consequences for these and related industries across the entire Great Lakes region.
There is a consensus that the threat is real, and unfortunately, efforts to solve the problem are now mired in bureaucratic inaction. Further delay only increases the likelihood that this threat becomes a full scale, irreversible inundation of this highly destructive invasive species.
We respectfully request your personal assistance in directing the Corps to immediately engage with local and state governments, as well as fisheries and other interested groups, to implement a long-term solution for keeping Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes and reverse the decision to suspend the formulation of such plans.
The proposed infrastructure developments at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam is intended to prevent the immediate upstream transfer of Asian Carp, preserving our ecology and saving billions of dollars. United in this bipartisan cause, as representatives from Great Lakes States, we are committed to the defense against the Asian Carp invasion and the preservation of this precious natural resource.
Thank you for your timely review and thoughtful consideration, we look forward to a swift response.