Press Release of Senator Feingold


Urges Army Corps of Engineers to Finish Work

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers requesting a detailed work plan and timeline for completion of a barrier to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.  In a letter to the U.S. Army, Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers, Feingold and the lawmakers expressed concern that despite sufficient time and funding the permanent electric dispersal barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is not operating at full capacity.  The potentially devastating effects of Asian carp are well documented; carp can weigh up to 100 lbs and consume up to 40 percent of their body weight in plankton in one day.

"With these invasive species less than a two-day swim from Lake Michigan, it is unacceptable that we are still testing a barrier that was authorized and funded more than a year ago," Feingold said.  "I’d like to see a detailed work plan and timeline for completion of the Asian carp barrier, and hope to see it in operation at full capacity as soon as possible.  Without this barrier, we are putting the health of the Great Lakes at risk."

Feingold has long supported efforts to defend the Great Lakes from invasive species.  In addition to cosponsoring legislation to prevent an invasion of the Asian Carp into the Great Lakes, Feingold has pushed Congress to enact legislation to regulate ballast water, which is the primary way invasive species are introduced into the Great Lakes

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.