Bipartisan effort to release Asian carp study

In this June 13, 2012 photo, an Asian carp, jolted by an electric current from a research boat, jumps from the Illinois River near Havana, Ill., during a study on the fish's population. (AP Photo/John Flesher, File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The recent discovery of a live Asian carp closer than ever before to the Great Lakes has prompted a bipartisan reaction in Washington.

A letter signed by every member of Michigan’s U.S. House delegation has been sent to the White House, demanding the release of a study on the issue that was completed in February.

The Michigan delegation has long been united when it comes to finding ways to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes. But the discovery of an 8 pound, 28 inch Asian carp within ten miles of Lake Michigan last week spurred the delegation into more urgent action.

All 14 Michigan U.S. House members — with Republican Rep. Fred Upton and Democrat Rep. Debbie Dingell leading the bipartisan effort — signed a letter urging President Donald Trump to release the so called Brandon Road study.

“Although the Corps initially announced that a draft of the Brandon Road study would be released on February 28, 2017, the release has since been delayed until further notice. Asian Carp have the potential to decimate the Great Lakes we all love and depend on. It is absolutely imperative we step up our effort to further protect our lakes,” the letter said, in part. “We ask you to release this critical study immediately, with strong bipartisan support.”

Upton, R-St.  spoke to 24 Hour News 8 on Wednesday about the letter.

“We’ve got to get this Corps of Engineers report that is done released so we can find out, particularly as we begin to examine the funding levels to stop this Asian carp from going north. We need to know what the plan of the Corps of Engineers is,” he said.

Dingell, D-Dearborn, also highlighted the need for funding to cleanup the Great Lakes.

“It’s very important that we get the report that the Corps of Engineers has been sitting on released so we get the results of that study. But we need for the president to understand how important full funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is. We need to keep these waters safe,” she said.

The money for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was put back into the budget for the current fiscal year, but has been taken out of next year’s spending plan.

As for the report, there is no word so far if the White House will release it.