Yesterday, U.S. officials announced that two Canadian government bodies are joining a committee coordinating short-term solutions to stop Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

Asian carp are an invasive species that have spread from the southern United States to the Mississippi basin. They are voracious eaters that may devastate our local wetlands, commercial and sports fisheries and the communities that rely on the fishing industries. To end this threat, we need a permanent separation of the carp-infested Mississippi basin from our Great Lakes.

Ecojustice continues to raise public awareness of the issue and is calling for public hearings that will allow Canadians to express their concerns and participate in the decision-making that seeks to address this threat.

We helped Great Lakes United and the Sierra Club Ontario submit a petition to the Ontario government in June. The petition asked Ontario to work with the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative to ensure the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins are separated to prevent Asian carp from getting into Lake Michigan. in July, Ontario introduced its invasive species plan, which referenced Asian carp (Read a story here). And we were encouraged to learn in May that the federal government had committed $17.5 million over the next five years to the fight against Asian carp.

The two Canadian government bodies joining the U.S. Asian Carp Regional Coordination Committee, are the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

By Hugh Wilkins, staff lawyer