Help Block Asian Carp

By: John Peach

Volume 14, Issue 1, January 2019

The long-awaited “Great Lakes and Mississippi River – Brandon Road  Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement,” to  block the entrance of Asian carp into the Great Lakes, through the  Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, has entered its final stage before  being sent to Congress for approval and funding.          

Jason Lindsey Carp
Photo courtesy JasonLindsay.com

Two species of Asian carp, bighead and steel carp, are  daunting invasive fish, weighing 80 to 100 pounds. They jump when  frightened, which can injure recreational boaters and are within four  miles of the Brandon Road Lock, located 41 miles southwest of Lake  Michigan. If these species of Asian carp become established in the St.  Lawrence River, they will drastically alter food chains, impact our  ecosystems and fisheries, and harm our recreation and tourism  industries.

A complete description of the project can be found at https://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental-Protection-and-Restoration/GLMRIS-BrandonRoad/.

The introductory illustration pages give a good overview of the project, and the executive summary is quite readable.

Save the River Letter

The comment period has been extended by 60 days, ending on February 22; *click here* to submit your support of the Plan to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

These letters and calls to action are the first  stage, in a multi-step campaign to encourage the U.S. Congress to pass  and fund the Plan, which will be followed by a campaign to urge New York  State to step-up and share in the funding of the non-federal portion of  the Plan.

As soon as USACE accepts the  comments on the Plan, they are scheduled to recommend it to Congress for  approval and funding. It is crucial that work on the first step of the  Plan, the Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) documents, gets  funded and started as soon as possible, in order for the project to hit  its target completion date of 2027. Save The River will be reaching out  to all our members and followers to contact their Representatives and  Senators to urge them to pass and fund the Plan. We know that  Congresswoman Stefanik is in favor of the Plan and will be working to  see it passed.

Funding for the currently  estimated $778 million project will be shared 65% by the Federal  government and 35% by the Great Lakes states. As of this date, New York  State has not indicated a willingness to participate in this non-federal  cost sharing, in spite of the hundreds of miles of NYS shoreline on the  St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. We are planning a campaign of  communications to engage the governor and state legislators, stressing  the importance of funding the Plan and educating them on the perils of  not acting to stop Asian carp before they establish a breeding community  in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

We hope that we can  count on you to help push through these essential steps of Save The  River’s fight to stop Asian carp. We have been successful in the past,  stopping the ill-conceived winter navigation project on the River, along  with advocating for Plan 2014, the passage of microbead legislation,  and more stringent regulation of ballast water exchange, all because of  the passionate and enthusiastic support and involvement of our members  and followers. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you  have about the plan to block Asian carp at executivedirector@savetheriver.org.  If you are a Save The River member, thank you very much for your  support. If you are not a member, please consider joining today at: donate.savetheriver.org.          

Save the River Logo

Every February, Save the River hosts a Winter Weekend. This year they celebrate the 30th year of this important annual event. Thirty years of gathering to hear  from national and regional policymakers, scientists, opinion leaders,  students, and teachers about the topics of critical importance to the  health of the St. Lawrence River.    

At  this year’s conference, you’ll learn about the diversion of Great Lakes  freshwater, research on American eels, the threat of Asian carp,  plastics in our water, and research of mercury cycling in St. Lawrence  River wetlands. They will also premiere their short film, “It’s Hard to  be a Tern.”    

Make  plans now to return to the River in Clayton, on the first Saturday of  February! Please register by Friday, January 25, 2019.      


John Peach, Executive Director and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper

John  Peach was appointed to serve as executive director and Upper St.  Lawrence Riverkeeper in August of 2018. John served on Save The River’s  Board from 2000-2018 in several key roles, including as aa President  from 2004-2007, on the executive committee, and most recently as  Treasurer, leading the finance committee. He has been an active  volunteer in Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring Program and Shoal  Marking Program and will continue his work in these programs while  serving as executive director. Prior to his retirement several years  ago, John worked as an international business consultant, in fields  including arts, oceanographic research, environmental, and  pharmaceuticals.  He and his wife Pat call Huckleberry Island, near Ivy  Lea, home for a significant portion of the year.

John has written a dozen articles for TI life beginning in 2010. You can view them here.  

Posted in: Volume 14, Issue 1, January 2019, Nature, News article, Places, Sports



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John Peach

John served on Save The River’s Board from 2000-2018 in several key roles, including as aa President from 2004-2007, on the executive committee, and most recently as Treasurer, leading the finance

Read more articles by John Peach and there may be more articles on our old site. Click here to visit our old site.