Deal reached on project to protect lakes from invasive fish

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan, Illinois and a federal agency have agreed on funding the next phase of an initiative to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes by strengthening defenses on a Chicago-area waterway, officials said Thursday.

The two states and the U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-deal-reached-brandon-road-project-asian-carp/

The Associated Press

Wilder Harrier, a Canadian pet food company, is using another unlikely alternative protein source to have a low environmental impact, yet a nutritious meal for dogs.

The post Asian carp goes from water to dog dishes first appeared on Great Lakes Echo.

Original Article

Great Lakes Echo

Great Lakes Echo

http://greatlakesecho.org/2020/12/15/asian-carp-goes-from-water-to-dog-dishes/

Guest Contributor

Public Concern: Climate change, runoff and chemicals at the forefront of people’s worries about the Great Lakes

NOTE: The report will formally be presented in English at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 10. A French session will follow at 3:30 p.m. For more details about how you can watch or ask questions, click here.

Public concern about climate change is escalating in the Great Lakes region, according to a new report issued by a binational group that manages and protects the Great Lakes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/public-concern-climate-change-runoff-chemicals-ijc/

Natasha Blakely

Carp Advance: Real and potential impacts of invasive fish throughout the Midwest

Since their introduction years ago, invasive Asian carp have infested rivers and lakes around the United States.

But they’ve been kept out of the Great Lakes — so far.

Some steps have been taken to protect the lakes system, but many believe that more effective policies — and more substantial barriers — are needed to keep the fish from spreading and to reduce the numbers where they’re already established.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/carp-impacts-invasive-fish-midwest/

GLN Editor

Michigan House OKs spending on jobless benefits, flood costs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers on Tuesday began approving a budget bill that would authorize the federal government’s supplemental $300-a-week unemployment benefit during the coronavirus pandemic and provide $6 million in state funding for costs related to devastating flooding in the Midland area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/ap-michigan-house-jobless-benefits-flood-costs/

The Associated Press

Michigan’s State of the Great Lakes: Drinking water quality garners spotlight

In her first regional appearance after taking office in January 2019, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made it clear that Michigan would take a leadership role on Great Lakes issues.

“Michigan has to lead on Great Lakes issues,” Whitmer told Great Lakes Now after speaking to fellow Great Lakes governors and Canadian premiers and the broader Great Lakes community in Milwaukee.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/michigan-state-great-lakes-drinking-water-quality/

Gary Wilson

A series of online videos for fisheries managers who need to sample for invasive carp species like bighead and silver carp is now available. This unique resource—a collection of 17 videos that can be watched on YouTube—grew out of a workshop that took place in spring 2019 at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Kentucky.

The partners behind the workshop and the resulting video series are the Mississippi River Basin Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (MRBP), Wisconsin Sea Grant, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The videos can be found on Wisconsin Sea Grant’s YouTube channel.

Duane Chapman of the U.S. Geological Survey discusses an ichthyoplankton net and its use for silver, bighead, grass and black carp sampling. (Photo: Bonnie Willison)

The April 17-18, 2019 workshop on invasive carp species featured experts from around the country, who presented to about 65 attendees.

The MRBP funded the event, and Wisconsin Sea Grant Video Producer Bonnie Willison filmed on location in Kentucky to create the training videos, working in cooperation with Sea Grant Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist Tim Campbell. Campbell also serves as the Wisconsin representative on the MRBP.

Said Campbell, “This workshop was a one-of-a-kind interagency effort to train people in the methods needed to sample for bighead and silver carp.” Those methods can be different from standard ones familiar to most U.S. fisheries professionals. For example, different gear may be needed, and the video series covers different types of gear and how to use it, among other topics.

“I’m so glad that workshop organizers had the forethought to capture this event so this knowledge could be preserved and shared with more people,” added Campbell.

The effort as a whole is aimed at more effective management of these invasive species in the waters of the Mississippi River basin, a vast watershed covering about 40% of the continental U.S. The methods demonstrated at the workshop can be used for a combination of monitoring (to know where the fish are) and control (to remove the unwanted species).

Emily Pherigo of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discusses the paupier boat and gives an overview of the equipment. (Photo: Bonnie Willison)

Bighead and silver carp are problematic because they eat a lot, grow rapidly and become quite large, with silver carp exceeding 60 lbs. and bighead carp exceeding 100 lbs. If left unchecked, they become abundant and make recreational uses of lakes and rivers difficult due to their sheer numbers. They also pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes, where they are not yet established.

The training videos may be viewed on YouTube.

Questions may be directed to Campbell at 608-263-3259 or tim.campbell@wisc.edu.

Original Article

News Releases – Wisconsin Sea Grant

News Releases – Wisconsin Sea Grant

https://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/news/training-videos-for-fisheries-managers-cover-techniques-for-sampling-invasive-carp-species/

Jennifer Smith

State Struggle: Budget shortfalls stall Asian carp plan, put cleanups at risk

With the federal government writing trillion-dollar checks to fight COVID-19, support collapsing businesses and feed cash into the economy via stimulus checks, Great Lakes legislators and advocacy groups are seizing on the opportunity to secure federal funding while the money still flows.

Recently the senate committee that oversees water infrastructure projects unanimously approved legislation authorizing $18 billion for projects nationally.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/state-federal-budget-shortfalls-asian-carp-toxic-cleanups/

Gary Wilson

Great Lakes Learning: Model the population dynamics of invasive species at home

As the author of Great Lakes Now’s Collection of Lesson Plans, educational consultant Gary Abud Jr. is now providing more support for parents, teachers and caregivers who want to incorporate Great Lakes learning into their time with children and students. His series of writings can be found HERE along with the lesson plans and a Virtual Field Trip.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/great-lakes-learning-population-dynamics-invasive-species/

Gary Abud Jr.

Invasive grass carp found in Lake Huron tributary river

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An invasive grass carp capable of reproducing has been discovered in a Lake Huron tributary, Michigan officials said Friday.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the fish was found March 17 during a routine survey of the Tittabawassee River below the Dow Dam in Midland County.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/ap-invasive-grass-carp-lake-huron-tributary/

The Associated Press

February 22, 2020

This week:  No Funds in Budget to Stop Asian Carp  + Ohio EPA agrees to  Pollution Limits for Western Lake Erie + Benton Harbor Community Water Council Partners with the City to Solve Lead Issue  + Ice Cover on Great Lakes Low + States Seek Limits on Water Bottling Industry

No Funds in Budget to Stop Asian Carp

Millions of federal dollars are missing in Trump’s budget to install barriers to prevent Asian carp after he promised funding at a January event in Michigan. Funding the implementation of the US Army Corps of Engineers plans for the Brandon Lock Dam is needed to close off this entryway for Asian carp to Lake Michigan.

Ohio EPA Agrees to Pollution Limits for Western Lake Erie

After more than 5 years since Toledo’s 2014 algae-driven water crisis left residents unable to use their water for days, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with pollution limits called Total Max Daily Load (TDML) aimed at reducing toxic algal blooms.  The pollution limits serve as a pollution diet and are designed to track the specific sources of runoff and hold polluters accountable.  Agriculture is the primary source of nutrient pollution, primarily phosphorus that feeds the harmful algal blooms in Western Lake Erie.

Benton Harbor Community Water Council Partners with The City to Solve Lead Issue

The Benton Harbor Community Water Council recently met with local and state representatives to discuss creative solutions to increase the quality of service to community members facing lead contamination problems. Freshwater Future staff members were on-hand to support and assist with efforts to address drinking water issues.

Ice Cover on Great Lakes Low

The Great Lakes region has experienced a warmer than average winter this season and as a result, ice coverage is at about 15%, down from the average of 55%.  Satellite images from this year, last winter, and 2013-2014 show the extreme differences.

States Seek Limits on Water Bottling Industry

Concerns about water bottling companies depleting groundwater led Washington State legislators to seek regulations that ban the bottled water industry from using groundwater.  Other states, including Michigan and Maine, are considering regulations that increase fees for extraction and licensing.

PFAS Test Kits – GIFT a KIT!
Freshwater Future believes everyone has a right to know what is in their drinking water, regardless of what’s in their wallets. We have partnered with the University of Michigan Biological Station and other donors to offer PFAS testing for homes on private wells at reduced rates. You can help make our kits even more accessible by selecting Gift a Kit at check out. We’ll use your donation to send a kit to someone else as part of our “Pay What You Can Program”. Get (or gift) your test kits today!

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-february-22-2020/

Alexis Smith

Chuck Shea, with the USACE, explains the 120-year history of the canal and its charge from Congress to stop the spread of AIS through the canal — a charge that came in 1996. Image by Moira Harrington.

Last Friday, I went to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which is outfitted with a set of thrumming electrical barriers. These barriers churn out an alternating current 34 times per second, each with a duration of 2.3 milliseconds. The goal is to turn back any invasive Asian carp set on making the journey into the world’s largest freshwater system. If established, it’s theorized the voracious eaters would decimate food sources at the expense of larger native fish.

I went with Bonnie Willison, Sea Grant’s digital storyteller, and Sydney Widell, an undergraduate with our program. Fisheries Specialist Titus Seilheimer and Southeast Wisconsin Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Specialist Molly Bodde met us there, as did Chris Hamerla, a regional aquatic invasive species specialist with Golden Sands Resource and Conservation Development Council Inc., and Paul Skawinski, citizen lake monitoring network educator from the University of Wisconsin-Extension Lakes Program. Both are based in Stevens Point.

Willison and Widell are working on a multipart podcast series with a focus on AIS. Willison was tenacious in her efforts to secure permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for our visit to Romeoville, Illinois. These are the folks who manage the site of what’s been called the world’s largest electric barrier, actually three of them with 155-foot sections of electrodes at the bottom of the 27-foot-deep canal.

A fourth barrier is under construction and will have three times the power of the existing ones. The USACE plans to throw the switch on that in early 2021.

This is ground zero in the battle to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes through a manmade waterway linking Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River Basin. It’s a 120-year-old unnatural connection, enabling marine transport and a cleaner Chicago, since stormwater and treated wastewater now flows out of that city thanks to an engineering feat that reversed the natural course of the water. It’s also provided a highway to mix species between the two aquatic systems that nature never intended to mix.

I’m not someone who geeks out on engineering, shipping or electricity. And it certainly wasn’t the promise of lovely waterside aesthetics that drew me south. This section of the canal is set amid a heavily industrialized stretch with belching petrochemical refineries.

The area around the electrical barriers is heavily industrialized. Image by Moira Harrington.

No, my emotions got revving because of what this place represents. Eight USACE employees, some consultants with barrier manufacturer Smith-Root and a whole lot of electrical buzz are all that stands between the Illinois River’s Starved Rock Pool, which supposedly holds the planet’s largest concentration of Asian carp and is about 60 miles from where I visited, and the rippling waves of Lake Michigan. Wow!

I wasn’t the only one expressing emotions. Widell said she has “peaked” now that she’s had a visit. Our lead AIS Specialist Tim Campbell wasn’t able to make the trip but responded to Seilheimer, aka @DrFish on Twitter, with #jealous.

Hamerla told the story about how Skawinski had texted him earlier in the week: “Call me ASAP.” When the two connected and Skawinski extended the invitation, Hamerla’s response was reportedly an enthusiastic, “Heck, yea,” leading to a 4 a.m. departure from Stevens Point to meet at the appointed hour.

Strong feelings weren’t limited to our group. Chuck Shea, USACE barrier project manager, said what motivates him on a daily basis is, “Knowing that you’re working on something that benefits so many people.”

The podcast episode about Asian carp and the barrier will be released in spring or early summer. At that time and after listening, Willison and Widell are betting you’ll get some emotions going, too.

Original Article

Blog – Wisconsin Sea Grant

Blog – Wisconsin Sea Grant

https://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/blog/asian-carp-dispersal-barrier-elicits-emotions/

Moira Harrington

December 20, 2019

This week:  Will Slow Action and Politics Result in Asian Carp in the Great Lakes? + Update on Uranium Site Spill in the Detroit River  + New York State Bill to Fund Purchase of Floodplain Properties + Bipartisan US Bill Introduced to Address Emerging Threats to Drinking Water  + It’s Raining and Snowing PFAS

Will Slow Action and Politics Result in Asian Carp in the Great Lakes?

More environmental DNA of Asian carp discovered this fall in the South Fork of Chicago River’s South Branch (also known as Bubbly Creek) is a warning that more must be done to prevent these voracious fish from establishing in the Great Lakes.  Slow and delayed action to fund and install barriers benefits the shipping industry but could result in devastating impacts to commercial fishing and the Great Lakes ecology.

Update on Uranium Site Spill in the Detroit River

Last week, we shared the announcement that erosion and spill of possible radioactive material into the Detroit River at a bulk storage site posed a risk to downstream drinking water sources.  Freshwater Future staff member, Alexis Smith, attended a public meeting inquiring about the lack of oversight and transparency.   Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy issued a violation to Revere Dock and Detroit Bulk Storage for allowing the material to enter the river.

New York State Bill to Fund Purchase of Floodplain Properties

New York is considering a new program to help people sell land in floodplains to address recent flooding problems in the Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The legislation introduced would increase the sale price to pre-flood conditions, helping people to purchase new homes.

Bipartisan US Bill Introduced to Address Emerging Threats to Drinking Water

The Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act introduced last week with bipartisan support would help states respond to emerging contaminants, like PFAS.  If passed the legislation would develop a research strategy to improve the identification, analysis, and treatment methods for emerging contaminants and provide federal support and technical assistance to communities that have emerging contaminants in their water supply.

It’s Raining and Snowing PFAS

A study conducted for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program found PFAS in rainwater.  Rainwater samples taken over a week from 30 different sites, mostly on the east coast contained one of 36 different PFAS compounds studied. The concentration of PFAS varied with several measuring less than 1 ppt, but one sample had 5.5 ppt.

Give the Gift of Clean Water

It’s not too late to give the gift of clean water with a gift membership to Freshwater Future.  We will send the gift recipient a card, set of note cards, and a Great Lakes sticker. Best of all, the gift membership supports our work to take on threats to our drinking water and finding solutions that give people the tools to advocate for clean water in their communities.

PFAS Test Kits – GIFT a KIT!
Freshwater Future believes everyone has a right to know what is in their drinking water, regardless of what’s in their wallets. We have partnered with the University of Michigan Biological Station and other donors to offer PFAS testing for homes on private wells at reduced rates. You can help make our kits even more accessible by selecting Gift a Kit at check out. We’ll use your donation to send a kit to someone else as part of our “Pay What You Can Program”. Get (or gift) your test kits today!

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Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-december-21st-2019/

Alexis Smith