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I need your help to stop asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan

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 Invasive species ...  I just spent the last three days speaking to hundreds of people on the topic at the Rochester (NY) Sport Show.  One of the things I pointed out is about the philosophy of our State and Federal agencies entrusted with the safe keeping of our environment and the responsibility for "controlling" the introductions of exotic/invasive species that it is a philosophy of failure.  As long as they focus on only slowing the invasion, no ecosystem is safe.  If my fire department had the same philosophy for fighting fires all they would do is toss a little water on the fire to slow it and watch the structure burn down.
      We worry about the Great Lakes ecosystem, just remember the ecosystem extends beyond the shore, we are part of the "greater" ecosystem of which the lakes are a part.  In those ballast tanks there are harmful pathogens from parts of the world where there is little or no control over the use of antibiotics.  This fosters the development of "super germs" that we hear about in the news so often.  It is only a matter of time before there is an outbreak of cholera or typhoid, or some hemorrhagic fever that we will not have any effective antibiotic for.  Am I scaring you?  I hope so and what I am telling you is not that far-fetched.  West Nile virus is an invasive species, which entered through the New York Harbor, in five years, it spread across the country sickening and killing humans and tens of thousands of birds. 
   I have a plan to stop the asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes; there is not much time I need your help!  Please join my e-mail blitz.  The following explains the plan I have sent it to everyone that I have made a presentation to.  Spread the word it will have an impact.  After my letter below is a copy of an article in the Sunday Chicago Sun Times that may interest you.
I need your help!     
Recently you may have had the opportunity to hear me speak on invasive species and the asian carp threatening the Great Lakes.  As conservationists, sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts we must also be the stewards of our natural resources.  There comes a time when we have to become active to protect what we share and love.  I need your help and support.

There are many serious issues concerning our Great Lakes, however invasive species is the single greatest threat to the ecosystem.  Invasive species, non-indigenous plants and animals, find their way into our lakes and rivers through commercial ship ballast, canals and bait buckets.  All these entry points need to be addressed and the invasion stopped in order to protect the fantastic fisheries we all enjoy.  This treat is not technologically difficult to remedy, unfortunately it is politically very difficult.  I have some ideas for solutions concerning ballast water.... I know there are experts all over this world that have potential solutions... they don't work if they are not implemented.  Policies and regulations that are not goal driven at stopping invasive species will not succeed.  Current regulations and proposed Federal legislation have loopholes that allow nonconformance to any regulations.  The current political philosophy is to slow invasive species introductions; it is a philosophy for failure and the demise of the ecosystem, as we know it.  If we continue on this path, we will not have anything to protect in the future.

I have been actively following the Asian carp problem in the Illinois River and Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal.  About ten years ago Asian carp used in catfish ponds to control plankton growth escaped into the Mississippi River during a spring flood.  In the ten years since their escape these carp have spread throughout the Mississippi River basin and now threaten the Great Lakes.  These carp now account for nearly 50% of the fish in the Mississippi River displacing native fish.  These carp threaten recreational boaters and other users of the River system.

The current action plan to protect the Great Lakes from these invasive carp is to build an electric barrier.  (The electric barrier is now under construction.)  The plan unfortunately has been flawed from the start it does not intend to stop the advance of the carp but to only slow the invasion.  The result is these carp will reach the Great Lakes and beyond.  There are other holes in the plan to protect the Great Lakes from the advance of these carp.  Leveling water, (ballast water) on the barges traversing the canal potentially can carry carp eggs and fry past the barrier.  Another problem with the electric barrier is that funding for the operation and maintenance has not been secured.  The location of the barrier is less than ideal because frequent spring floods can wash eggs or allow fish to swim around the barrier during floods.  The Cal Sag Canal, which is a tributary, is also another entry path to the Great Lakes.  For any plan to have a chance for success its goal must be to stop the carp.

As I stated at the beginning technologically speaking there is a simple solution to stop the advance of asian carp to the Great Lakes through these canals.... I have heard from enough experts on this including Chris Goddard, US Chairman on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, we need to dam the canals.  (Mr. Goddard says a hydrological barrier is needed but a dam by any other name is still a dam.)  Everyone agrees that the permanent electric barrier while well intentioned will not stop the asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes it is only a temporary measure.

I have asked people to write letters... nobody writes anymore.  Who has time?  People communicate on the computer by e-mail.  Just as we are now..., it is quick... little effort... simple.  I want to harness this medium to make the will of the public known to our elected officials.  I am organizing a campaign to e-mail selected politicians on favorite subject... the Chicago Sanitary and Ship and the Cal-Sag Canals.

So, here is what I am proposing.  I am asking anyone who wants to participate in this campaign to send e-mails on one weekend.  Send the e-mails between 6:00 PM EST on March 26 and 6:00 AM EST March 28, 2005 We need the e-mails to come in a large volume at one time to have any impact.  All the e-mails must have nearly the same subject line and if at all possible not be a forwarded e-mail because spam software will reject these.  I suggest "Dam the Canals" "Save Lake Michigan, Dam the Canals" "Stop the asian carp, DAM THE CANALS" and "You must not fail, Dam the Canals".  The subject "dam the canals" is important because if this is successful nobody will read a thousand e-mails but it will be easy to see a thousand e-mails concerning the same topic.

The content of the e-mail message should be very simple for example: 
     I support your efforts to protect the Great Lakes from the advance of the invasive asian carp.  The electric barrier approach is temporary however, it is flawed.  Please dam the canals.  You are on the frontline for this issue you can not fail to protect the Great Lakes.  We will not let you fail, you have our support to dam the Chicago Sanitary Ship and Cal-Sag canals.

Send the e-mails to Mayor Daley of Chicago                            [email protected]
                               Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn                           [email protected]
                               Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich                 [email protected]
                               EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson      [email protected]
                               President George Bush                               [email protected]

There is a reason for each of the recipients.  The first three are on the "frontline" the Mayor, Lt Governor and Governor are going to be the real actionees they are going to need the most help to resolve this issue.  Mayor Daley and Governor Blagojecich are on our side but they need to hear the message to take it to the US Congress.  The EPA Administrator is important because this is more than a Great Lakes issue, it is national.  He needs to be available to support the actionees in Illinois with whatever help they need.  Last, President Bush has made it a priority to protect the Great Lakes; I want him to know we stand behind his effort.  It will be clear that failure in this objective is not acceptable.

So far the campaign is being well received I have a tremendous support from individuals and organizations.  Great Lakes United, the Isaac Walton League, Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Southtowns Walleye Association members, have committed to help and the list grows by the day.  It may be quite possible to get several thousand e-mails sent!  Now I need your help to stop these invasive species.  Please help circulate this e-mail and support the effort by sending your e-mail between 6:00 PM EST on March 26 and 6:00 AM EST March 28, 2005.

Thomas Marks
NY Director
Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council

The Georgian Bay Association paid over $300,000 to figure out water was escaping the upper Great Lakes to quickly via the St Clair River/shipping channel.  Well for free I'll tell you that 1.4 billion gallons a day is diverted through the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal to the Mississippi River. That is about 1500 cubic feet per second.  Read my call for help to stop the asian carp ... we want to dam the canal and stop the diversion.  I need your help from Ontario please!

Thomas Marks
NY Director
Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council

Can you give us a few more details about the carp and what we can do to help. Also who should we be getting in contact with about the dam?.

Never mind I read your other post and found all the info there. T.D you might want to move or remove this topic.

SOunds pretty serious. Though id need to read more about facts and stuff going on. I know your pretty into it but just Sending emails on stuff that Us ourseleves havent read up on is Just Taking your Words as facts and thus being Ignorant emails to these parties. No offense to you what so ever im just saying that as a indivual i would have to do more reaserch on a subject before Sending emails to someone based on YOur words alone :> 
I hope Your Call doesnt go un answered though. Can you post us some Url headings on this TOpic? Seeing how your right into it might be benifical to post some Articals that have been Printed or Magazine sections staing all the facts or if not some. ANy info would be great TO us so we can Send a proper email with SOme backbone to the right people which you have yourself indicated:> TIght lines!


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