TIME Alliance Unveils Radio Ads, Website and Statewide Effort to StopTheCarpNow
Site designed to build support to pass federal legislation to keep Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes
LANSING, Mich., Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Tourism Improving Michigan’s Economy (TIME) Alliance unveiled radio ads and a special website designed to muster public and industry support to keep Asian Carp out of Michigan waterways. The ads and website (www.StopTheCarpNow.org ), are part of a statewide effort to raise public, media and legislator awareness of the threat Asian Carp pose to Michigan’s fishing, boating and tourism industries.
Asian Carp were brought from China by Arkansas fish farmers in the 1970s to control vegetation and improve water clarity of their ponds. The Silver Carp and Bighead Carp were released when the Mississippi River flooded the fish ponds and these invasive species have been working their way up the Mississippi River ever since.
The Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal connects Lake Michigan to the Illinois River which is heavily infested by Asian carp. Numerous Asian Carp DNA samples have been found north of electric barriers designed to stop the carp’s migration into the Great Lakes.
“It’s imperative that Congress enact federal legislation to prevent these fish from entering the Great Lakes,” said Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association (MLTA) President and TIME spokesman, Steve Yencich. “Asian Carp are plankton feeders that can quickly infest rivers, streams and lakes. In doing so, they take out the bottom of the food chain on which native species rely. That makes them a genuine threat to boating, our sports and commercial fisheries and Michigan’s economy.”
Legislation has been co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Dave Camp to prevent Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes. The bill requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct and expedite a study to determine the best way to permanently separate the Mississippi Basin from Lake Michigan. This permanent separation will allow shipping and boating through, but would prevent the water from the Chicago waterway – and any invasive species living in it – from entering Lake Michigan.
Representatives of the TIME Alliance point out that no hearings have been held on the legislation in either the House or Senate. In the months since, Asian Carp eDNA samples have been discovered north of electric barriers designed to stop the carps’ migration as well as in the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.
“Introduction of a bill accomplishes nothing. Michigan residents must demonstrate their support for this legislation so members of Michigan’s delegation in Congress understand that it’s a priority on which they must act,” Yencich said. “They need to hear from us in numbers and these ads and StopTheCarpNow are merely the first of many steps towards that end.”
The TIME Alliance, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) organization whose Board of Directors includes representatives from the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Grand Hotel, Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association, the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, and the Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association. TIME’s mission includes public education and advocacy on behalf of issues that affect tourism and Michigan’s economy.
SOURCE TIME Alliance