Take action now to keep invasive Asian carp from devastating Lake Michigan and Illinois’ great rivers and to ensure they remain inviting, productive and vital into the future.
With a 63-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline that is among the state’s most valuable natural and cultural resources and that is home to 6 million residents, Illinois has much at stake in the battle to stop the spread of voracious – and potentially dangerous – invasive Asian carp.
If the fish enter the Chicago, Calumet and Des Plaines rivers or Lake Michigan through the Illinois River, they would immediately move up and down Illinois’ Lake Michigan waterfront, where they would congregate close to shorelines and beaches and consume the food that native fish depend on, endanger people on the water and spread to additional inland rivers and streams.
Among the eventual environmental and economic havoc the fish would wreak in Illinois:
- Illinois’ Lake Michigan $3.2 billion-a-year recreational tourism industry would take a devastating hit
- An untold number of the 33,000 Illinois jobs that rely on Lake Michigan tourism would be lost
- Recreational and charter fishing – a multimillion-dollar industry on the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan – would nosedive
- Boaters would face danger because invasive silver carp (which can weigh 100 pounds) are known for leaping out of the water – and sometimes into watercraft – when disturbed by motors
- The Lake Michigan shoreline in Southwest Michigan – a prime vacation destination for Chicago-area residents – would experience similar devastation
There’s a plan to prevent this disaster!
To block the invasive carp migration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed installing a combination of fish deterrents at the Brandon Road Lock & Dam on the Des Plaines River in Illinois.
Michigan – the Great Lakes State – stands ready to begin implementing the plan immediately and is calling on all other states and provinces bordering the Great Lakes to add their support. Chicago leaders, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, recently announced that the city also backs the Army Corps plan to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp.
The new Great Lakes Basin Partnership to Block Asian Carp has launched a public education campaign to promote awareness of the benefits that the Army Corps’ plan will provide.
Here’s what you can do to help: Fill in the box below, and then submit your letter to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and other key Illinois leaders showing your support for taking action now to block invasive Asian carp.
Together, we can protect and preserve our Great Lakes!