Success: Spread of Invasive Species Halted

Great Lakes by George Bosela

Target: Betsy Yankowiak, Director of Preserves and Programs at Little River Wetlands Project

Goal: Thank Ms. Yankowiak for her work preventing Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

A l.7 mile long earthen barrier was recently completed to stop the spread of Asian carp to the Great Lakes. Asian carp are an invasive species and if left unchecked they would cause significant harm to native species and ecosystems. In the past, ForceChange ran a petition calling for legislation to halt the expansion of this destructive species. Thanks to the efforts of local agencies and advocates like ForceChange, Asian carp will be stopped at the Wabash River Watershed.

Had they not been prevented, they would have destroyed valuable native species and ecosystems. Other invasive species have already injured 46 percent of the endangered plants and animals residing in the Great Lakes. Asian carp would have vied with native fish, such as bloaters and yellow perch, for food. Asian carp eat 20 percent of their body weight every day, and once grown have no natural predators in North America.

The Great Lakes have already been invaded by a 186 non-native species, which together cause $200 million worth of damage to lakes and the local economy each year. The barrier used to keep out Asian carp only cost $4.4 million. Eagle Marsh, where the barrier was built, is the second most critical spot for preventing invasive species from entering the lakes.

Because of environmental organizations such as Little River Wetlands Project and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Asian carp are much less likely to invade the lakes. Join me in thanking Betsy Yankowiak, Director of Preserves and Programs at the Little River Wetlands Project, for her efforts on the project.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Yankowiak,

Thank you for your support of the Eagle Marsh berm project. Eagle Marsh is a crucial entry point for invasive species like Asian carp to reach the Great Lakes. Because of this berm, Asian carp are prevented from entering the lakes and causing harm to native species there.

Invasive species like the Asian carp produce $200 million worth of damage to the lakes and to the local economy every year. At the cost of $4.4 million, you have prevented further destruction of these lakes and the endangered species that call them home. Asian carp is a particularly devastating invader. Once mature, they have no natural predators and can eat 20 percent of their body weight each day.

We are grateful to you for stopping the introduction of this detrimental species into the lakes and preserving their ecosystems. The Great Lakes are crucial both to the wildlife and to the human communities that call them home. Thank you for protecting them.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: George Bosela

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