As concerns mount about the presence of Asian carp near Lake Michigan, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin today urged President Obama to appoint a carp czar to oversee efforts to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.
“We need to have one person who coordinates the efforts of the federal, state and local agencies that are doing everything they can to keep the Asian carp out of Lake Michigan,” Durbin said during a news conference at the Shedd Aquarium. “We believe it’s absolutely essential.”
Durbin was responding to the discovery of a bighead carp, a variety of Asian carp, during routine sampling this week in Lake Calumet, just six miles from Lake Michigan. Standing beside environmental advocates who have championed closing Chicago-area locks as a way to prevent carp from entering Lake Michigan, Durbin called the finding a possible “game changer” and said “we have to take it very seriously.”