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GLIN==> Asian Carp Control Costs Underestimated


For Immediate Release			
July 25, 2002

Cameron Davis (312) 939-0838 x2
Joel Brammeier (312) 939-0838 x4

Federation: Costs of Keeping Asian Carp Out of Great Lakes Higher than

Chicago - The Lake Michigan Federation today called for $15 million in
congressional funding to keep gigantic Asian carp from invading the Great
	Bighead and silver carp are migrating up the Illinois River and
estimated to be within 50 miles of Lake Michigan. Bighead carp can grow to
50+ lbs., while silver carp grow to over 100 lbs. and 40 inches long. The
fish can eat up to 40 percent of their body weight every day in
phytoplankton (algae) and zooplankton (microscopic animals), which comprise
much of the base of the Great Lakes food chain.
	An electrical barrier, operated under supervision of the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, is in place and was activated earlier this year.
	"Entry of Asian carp could send the continent's most important
freshwater resource into biological shock, especially with the Great Lakes
fishery already reeling from zebra mussels and other invasive species that
pull food out of the ecosystem," said Cameron Davis, executive director of
the Lake Michigan Federation.
	Earlier this year U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert introduced a bill for
$500,000 to keep the existing barrier operating in FY03. Two weeks ago,
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley endorsed a plan for congress to spend
$700,000 for a backup power supply to the barrier.
	"We can't tell with any certainty whether the current barrier will
be effective," said Joel Brammeier, the Federation's science manager, citing
research showing that the barrier can be breached.
According to preliminary Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant research released on
July 19, a simulation of the current barrier showed that in 379 out of 381
attempts, bighead carp did not pass through the simulated barrier.
	"While this is encouraging news, all you need are the right
conditions for two carp to get past the barrier and reproduce effectively,"
said Brammeier. "By then it will be too late to react to keep the carp out
of the Great Lakes."
	Included in the Federation's estimated $15 million call for funding
are safeguards and upgrades to the first barrier, and construction of a
second, backup barrier. The second barrier would include sound deterrents,
nitrogen to remove oxygen from water, and "bubble arrays," a technology
already used in Europe.
"It doesn't take an economist to see that $15 million is a smart investment
when you stack that next to a Great Lakes fishery that is worth $4 billion
annually," said the Federation's Davis. "It's time to look at a
comprehensive strategy to inoculate the Great Lakes against all future
invasions so we don't keep find ourselves in the expensive position of
having to react on a species by species basis."

Cameron Davis will appear this evening on WTTW Channel 11 TV's Chicago
Tonight at 7:00 p.m. to debate invasive species controls for the Great

Formed in 1970, the Lake Michigan Federation is the oldest citizens' Great
Lakes organization in North America. Its mission is to restore fish and
wildlife habitat, conserve land and water, and eliminate pollution in the
watershed of the largest lake within U.S. borders. More on the Federation
and this lawsuit is available at www.lakemichigan.org

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