Watertown, NY, January 16, 2014 - There's a report out that outlines eight options for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes and the public is being asked its opinion.
As New York Sea Grant's Recreation/Tourism Specialist Dave White tells the newscasters at Watertown's WWNY-TV 7 News This Morning studios, Asian carp are just one of many invasive species environmentalists are trying to keep out of the Great Lakes system. White also shared this information on air with WTNY 790 AM Radio, also based in Watertown, NY.
"There are two species of Asian carp - the silver and big head - and they are of concern getting into the Great Lakes and the impact they can do both environmentally and economically," says White.
How might they get into the Great Lakes? "They are not in the Great Lakes, but they are in the Mississippi River, all the way up to the border between the Great Lakes drainage basin and the Mississippi drainage basin, which are physically connected in Chicago. [These basins] were connected decades ago for shipping, transit and economic reasons."
The goal? "To keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes." As White explain in this video clip, there is a recently-released study that begins to recommend ways to keep Asian carp and many other invasive species that are invasive to the Mississippi River that aren't in the Great Lakes.
Is it envitable that Asian carp will end up in the Great Lakes? "This report outlines the costs associated with eight different options on how to keep these basins separate," says White. "The thing is, the longer you can keep these basins separate and this species out of the Great Lakes, you can plan for what protective measures to take if they do find their way into the system."
The big question now: "How much do you spend, how much do you invest to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes," says White. And, why fight so hard to keep them out? "It's a fish in another waterway, but everytime you have a fish come into your body of water that hasn't been there before, it's going to have some impact on the food chain. These fish are voracious feeders at the very base of the food chain, so they will compete with native and other species in the Great Lakes, which then leads to environmental and economic impacts, such as displacing recreational fisheries."
White also cautions that "We can make assumptions as to what these fish will do when they get into the system, but until they get in, you don't really know."
Since April 2006, White has been bringing Sea Grant's "message" to the morning masses at WWNY TV 7, a Fox affiliate in downtown Watertown, during one of the highest rated TV blocks in the "wake-up hours," the 6:30-7 am stretch.
Sea Grant's 'five minutes of fame' - which potentially reaches around 10,000 viewers in New York's Jefferson and Northern Oswego Counties - has featured topics over the years such as boating safety, aquatic invasive species, diving in search of sunken wrecks, the dune and Salmon River stewards program, shoreline land issues, tourism, and marine safety.
More Info: New York Sea Grant
New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University
and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based
programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP
engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting
scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed
to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our
aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated
services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental
sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great
Lakes resources since 1971.
For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org
has RSS, Facebook
, and YouTube
links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines
for NY Coastlines
, its flagship publication, which, in 2014, merges with the program's e-newsletter, Currents
. NY Coastlines
is published several times a year.