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Group launches media blitz on Asian carp

The Tourism Improving Michigan's Economy Alliance unveiled radio ads and a website designed to muster public and industry support to keep Asian carp out of Michigan waterways.

The ads and website are part of a statewide effort to raise public, media and legislator awareness of the threat Asian carp pose to Michigan's fishing, boating and tourism industries.

“It's imperative that Congress enact federal legislation to prevent these fish from entering the Great Lakes,” Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association president and tourism group spokesman Steve Yencich said in a statement.

“Asian carp are plankton feeders that can quickly infest rivers, streams and lakes,” he added. “In doing so they take out the bottom of the food chain on which native species rely. That makes them a genuine threat to boating, our sports and commercial fisheries, and Michigan's economy.”

A bill was introduced in Congress to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. It would require the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct and expedite a study to determine the best way to permanently separate the Mississippi Basin from Lake Michigan. The permanent separation would allow shipping and boating through, but would prevent the water from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal — and any invasive species living in it — from entering Lake Michigan.

Representatives of the tourism alliance said no hearings have been held on the legislation in either the House or Senate. In the months since, Asian carp eDNA samples have been discovered north of electric barriers designed to stop the carp’s migration, as well as in the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

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