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Efforts to protect Lake Erie from Asian carp

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sent a letter to the Department of the Army, Civil Works, calling for the release of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study on a method to help stop Asian Carp from invading the Great Lakes. The letter comes amid reports of a silver carp found nine miles from Lake Michigan, beyond electric barriers designed to block the fish.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ delay in the face of this immediate threat is unacceptable,”  DeWine said. “The Corps’ choice to withhold the plan even after its January 2017 due date could jeopardize the ultimate outcome.”

Lake Erie is considered especially susceptible to invasive Asian Carp, which could complete with native species, cause extensive damage to the ecosystem, and devastate the fishing and tourism industries. In his letter, Attorney General DeWine explains that Lake Erie is a source of drinking water for 3 million Ohioans, provides 124,000 jobs to Ohioans, and generates $1.8 billion in tourism revenue to Ohio.

The letter calls for the release of the Tentatively Selected Plan for the Brandon Road Study, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study examining ways to keep invasive Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes and block entry of the fish through the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois.

Attorney General DeWine says it is imperative to issue the tentative plan immediately, given the time it will take to implement a specific plan.

“If Asian Carp are allowed to reach the Great Lakes, it may be too late to save Lake Erie,” Attorney General DeWine said in the letter.

A copy of the letter is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

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.

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