Island residents encouraged to sign petition regarding Asian carp

Tom Sasvari

The Recorder

SPRING BAY—Residents of Manitoulin Island and area are being encouraged to sign a petition in an attempt to keep the prevalence of Asian carp from spreading throughout the Great Lakes, including area waters.

“This is an opportunity to get other people on Manitoulin Island involved in lobbying for action to be taken by the governments to create barriers so Asian carp can’t get into Lake Michigan,” stated Mike Wilton of Algonquin Eco-Watch and a member of the water advisory committee of the Manitoulin Area Stewardship Committee (MASC).

Mr. Wilton explained, “the Great Lakes United petition is being forwarded to the to the American Congress calling on the government to make sure barriers are created so Asian carp can’t get into Lake Michigan.”

Information provided by Mr. Wilton explains that the Great Lakes United coalition passed a resolution in support of Canadian input into US hydro separation studies, to aid efforts preventing an Asian carp invasion into the Great Lakes.

The Asian carp are poised to invade the Great Lakes via US waterways and efforts are underway in the US to stop them. However, the Great Lakes are international waters, and the Asian carp are an international threat, a GLU release says. If this fish invades the Great Lakes via US waterways, they will have gained access to Canadian waters of the Great Lakes as well as direct access to Canadian tributaries and inland rivers. While Ontario and the federal government have provided some logistical assistance to control efforts in the Chicago Area Waterway System, Canadian citizens need to demand that the provincial and federal governments do more than take a wait and see approach.

“In early 2012, Great Lakes United, in collaboration with Ecojustice and Sierra Club-Ontario, will be delivering our coalition resolution and a petition signed by concerned Canadian citizens to the federal Ministers of Natural Resources, Environment and Fisheries and Oceans, the Ontario Ministers of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the appropriate ministers of parliament,” the release continues. “The petition asks for public hearings to ensure that Canadian concerns and input regarding effective ways to address the threat of an Asian carp invasion are heard, and that input be recorded and transmitted to US agencies working on Asian carp prevention.”

To sign the petition, you can do so by going online at www.glu.org/asiancarppetition2011.