2017 Action Plan Details Strategy to Manage Threat of Asian Carp in Great Lakes

Chris Young
Ed Cross
 2017 Action Plan Details Strategy to Manage Threat of Asian Carp in Great Lakes
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) announced the release of its Fiscal Year 2017 Action Plan today. The Action Plan document details 60 high-priority strategic measures designed to manage the threat of four species of invasive Asian carp in the Great Lakes.

The Plan serves as a foundation for the work of the ACRCC partnership — a collaboration of 27 U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial, and local agencies and organizations. The 2017 Plan builds on prior strategies by applying lessons learned through research and additions of new technologies and control measures. The Plan also carries forward a new interagency contingency response plan developed for potential rapid-response to detections of Asian carp at all life stages in unexpected areas of the upper Illinois River and Chicago Area Waterway System.

“This Action Plan continues to show our unified resolve to keep Asian Carp from invading the Great Lakes,” said Bill Bolen, USEPA Senior Advisor and co-chair of the ACRCC. “We intend to employ every effort necessary to protect this precious resource.

“The Great Lakes are an amazing resource that face numerous and evolving threats,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “These threats require a constant, coordinated and creative effort to keep at bay. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to be part of this Action Plan and to help protect the Great Lakes.”

“Keeping Asian carp from establishing a population in the Great Lakes is a shared effort. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is pleased to be among the agencies contributing to the 2017 ACRCC Action Plan, with efforts focusing on operating and maintaining the electric barrier system, continued monitoring efforts and the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study,” said Col. Christopher Drew, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District.

This year $17 million of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding, in addition to more than $25 million of federal agency base funding, will be used by partners to implement key projects and initiatives to safeguard the Great Lakes from invasive bighead, silver, grass and black carps.

“USGS Asian carp science is focused on early detection, risk assessment and development of control tools and strategies,” said Leon Carl, USGS Midwest Regional Director. “The tools and technologies we have developed are aimed at effectively informing and supporting Asian carp management strategies for preventing the spread of Asian carp in the nation’s waterways.”

“Each member of the ACRCC plays an important role in keeping Asian carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources was proud to lead efforts to remove over one million pounds of Asian carp from the upper Illinois River in 2016,” said Illinois DNR Asian carp biologist Kevin Irons. “Working together, we are keeping them away from the electric barrier system and out of Lake Michigan.”
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