Great Lakes NGOs Petition President for Change on Asian Carp

Letter points to need for increased transparency, coordination and speed in invasive species effort

CHICAGO (June 29, 2010) – An array of prominent national and Great Lakes conservation NGOs are calling on President Obama to radically change the federal response to the ongoing Asian carp crisis. In a formal letter sent this morning, the groups express their alarm at “the lack of coordinated action and urgency shown by federal agencies in advancing real solutions to the carp crisis.” Saying “it is time for a new sheriff in town,” the sharply worded letter includes a request for the appointment of a White House “federal incident commander” to ensure appropriate coordination and instill the transparency that has been missing in the response to date. Noting last week’s capture of a live bighead carp beyond any defenses in the Chicago Waterway System, the groups also call for greater speed in the federal response. In particular, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Interbasin study of permanent solutions is behind schedule and could take up to seven years to suggest a fix.

The letter expresses strong support for the leadership and proposals of U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Debbie Stabenow on this issue and is signed by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Environment Illinois, Freshwater Future, Great Lakes United, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Prairie Rivers Network, and Sierra Club.

The full letter is available at here.