Great Lakes Conservation Coalition: New Study Models Threat of Invasive Carp to Great Lakes Food Web

Nearshore and shallow bays are at most risk

by Drew YoungeDyke, National Wildlife Federation

A recent study published by the American Fisheries Society models the impacts that invasive carp would have on the food webs of the Great Lakes, predicting significant impacts on Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay, and other bays, river mouths, and nearshore areas. This study comes at a time when movement has occurred on the plans to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes, yet much remains to be done.

JUMP TO Great Lakes Conservation Coalition Blog to continue reading…

 

 

Great Lakes Conservation CoaltionAbout Great Lakes Conservation Coalition

The Great Lakes Conservation Coalition is an informal affiliation of conservation groups, including the Indiana Wildlife Federation, working in the Great Lakes region and collectively representing millions of hunters and anglers. Working together, we help advance solutions to the conservation challenges threatening our fish, wildlife, and outdoor heritage.

Asian carp

House Panel Approves Brandon Road Project to Stop Asian Carp

Water Resources Development Act also reduces state cost-share, allows for new technologies

National Wildlife Federation, July 21, 2020

ANN ARBOR, MICH.— The Brandon Road project, included in the Water Resources Development Act that passed out of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week, will help stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The project also reduced the local cost share requirement of the project from 35% to 20%, easing the financial burden on the state of Illinois.

In addition, the bill allows for new technologies to be considered in the project thus providing more flexibility for potentially even more effective control options to be added in the future. The bill now heads to the full House for approval and eventual negotiations with the Senate’s version, which also approved the Brandon Road project.

“Invasive Asian carp are a national problem to our nation’s waters, fisheries, and way of life. The Brandon Road project is the best opportunity we have to keep them from invading the Great Lakes and spreading to countless new waters, while simultaneously putting people to work building the new lock and dam.” said Marc Smith, policy director for the National Wildlife Federation. “The design of the engineered channel includes multiple carp deterrent technologies and the inclusion of new technologies could increase the effectiveness of the design while potentially reducing costs as more efficient technologies are developed. We thank the bipartisan members of Congress for their diligence in finding national solutions to stop invasive Asian carp.”

Asian carp

Conservation Groups Urge Congress to Fund Efforts to Stop Asian Carp

Asian carp jumping from the water at Barkley Dam. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (March 3, 2020) – Conservation organizations representing hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins are urging Congress to continue critical funding in FY 2021 to fight invasive Asian carp.  This funding will help remove Asian carp from waters they’ve already invaded and help keep them out of the Great Lakes and connected waters.

Yesterday, the groups sent a letter to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and the House Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies requesting funding for federal agencies working to stop the spread of Asian carp. Asian carp decimate native and sport fish populations in waters they invade by reproducing rapidly and consuming food resources at the base of the food chain. In addition, they pose a serious risk to boaters as they jump aggressively out of the water when frightened.

“Asian carp are devastating our waters from Arkansas to Minnesota, impacting iconic bass fisheries in Tennessee and Kentucky, depleting native fish populations in the Mississippi River, and threatening to invade the Great Lakes and its $7 billion annual sport fishery,” said Marc Smith, Great Lakes policy director for the National Wildlife Federation. “These critical investments in the fight to stop Asian carp are absolutely necessary to keep them out of the Great Lakes and start to recover the waters they’ve already diminished.”

The groups included the National Wildlife Federation and its state affiliates Arkansas Wildlife Federation, Conservation Federation of Missouri, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Iowa Wildlife Federation, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Minnesota Conservation Federation, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Ohio Conservation Federation, Prairie Rivers Network, Tennessee Wildlife Federation, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.

Specifically, the groups requested that Congress:

• Provide at least $5 million in FY2021 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue pre-construction engineering and design of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam plan to help keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes;

• Provide at least $300 million in FY2021 for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that will help Asian carp control actions;

• Provide at least $47 million in FY2021 for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to continue critical work on fisheries management and prevent invasive grass carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes;

• Provide at least $25 million in FY 2021 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to fund the Asian Carp Action Plan to undertake control actions to stop the spread of Asian carp throughout the Mississippi, Ohio River and Tennessee Cumberland River basins; and

• Provide at least $11 million in FY2021 to the U.S. Geological Survey to fund further research into early detection practices and control technologies aimed at stopping the further spread of Asian carp.

“We believe that requesting this critical funding in FY 2021 for the USFWS, USACE, USGS, and GLFC to continue to implement a national coordinated strategy to advance Asian carp control actions is critical to preventing the further spread of Asian carp and other invasive species and is consistent with our collective commitment to protecting the health and sustainability of the Great Lakes, Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland River Basins,” the groups wrote in the letter.

The full text of the letter is available for download here.

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Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, National Wildlife Federation, youngedyked@nwf.org, 734-887-7119

Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News.

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Environmental Organizations React to Arcelormittal InvestigationReport

Download PDF Version

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 23, 2019

Natalie Johnson
Save the Dunes
219-879-3564×122
(additional media contacts included below)

ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS REACT TO ARCELORMITTAL INVESTIGATION REPORT
Portage, IN – Earlier this week, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) released its investigation report on August’s fish kill in the East Branch of the Little Calumet River. The report includes details on the incident and its cause, the response from both IDEM and ArcelorMittal, and the description of violations that occurred. The report points to a series of events which ultimately led to the toxic release of cyanide and ammonia nitrogen into the waterway that flows into Lake Michigan. Moreover, the report also indicates that ArcelorMittal had full knowledge of the equipment failure that would result in the “continuous release of thousands of gallons per minute of blast furnace gas washing wastewater, known, by the nature of its origin, to contain pollutants including Cyanide, to a treatment plant not designed or equipped to treat Cyanide.” Environmental organizations Save the Dunes, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Surfrider Foundation Chicago Chapter, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Hoosier Environmental Council, Izaak Walton League and Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter found the report shocking.

“There is overwhelming evidence that ArcelorMittal knew early on that, due to its equipment failure, cyanide would be destined for the river,” says Natalie Johnson, executive director of Save the Dunes. “The egregious decision to not mitigate the impact or immediately report to IDEM, drinking water utilities, or the National Park is absolutely unacceptable.”

“ArcelorMittal is responsible and should be held accountable for dozens of violations of the Clean Water Act, way beyond the one addressed in the IDEM report,” said Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “That’s why the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the Hoosier Environmental Council served a 60-day notice of intent to bring a Clean Water Act enforcement lawsuit against ArcelorMittal for more than 100 violations of its permit, including water quality violations that harm ecological and public health.”

From Mitch McNeil of the Surfrider Foundation Chicago Chapter: “The actions taken by ArcellorMittal to knowingly and negligently send cyanide-tainted wastewater into Lake Michigan, as described in this report, are criminal. The steel industry is important to the economy, but so is Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan supports wildlife, recreation, commerce, and is a source of drinking water. Treating the lake as a dumping ground with such blatant disregard for its beneficial uses is unacceptable, and actions to that effect taken by ArcellorMittal, U.S. Steel, or any other company cannot be tolerated.”

“Research shows that chemical spills into aquatic habitats can have cascading effects that can impact wildlife and the food web for years after the incident,” says Emily Wood, executive director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation. “With the number of threats already putting pressure on our Great Lakes ecosystems, we have no room for companies acting without integrity.”

From Dr. Indra Frank, director of environmental health and water policy with the Hoosier Environmental Council: “ArcelorMittal’s irresponsible actions documented in this report deserve a significant penalty, one large enough to serve as a strong incentive to do better in the future.

“We are very concerned about the continuing history of the steel industry exceeding its permits and not timely reporting. This puts at risk the drinking water for millions of Americans and threatens the sporting fishing industry,” said Dean Farr, Izaak Walton League. “We hope that IDEM and the industry will develop best practices to responsibly produce steel while sustaining both the environment and the economy.”

“The report reveals a remarkable level of disrespect on ArcelorMittal’s part for public safety, wildlife impacts, and IDEM’s regulatory authority,” says Bowden Quinn, director of the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter. “I hope the department comes down hard on the company for this flagrant disregard of proper operating procedures.”

Violations identified in the report include discharges not allowable under the facility’s NPDES permit, failure to provide required notifications, failure to efficiently operate and maintain facility in good working order at all times, failure to mitigate adverse impact, and numerous effluent limitation violations. The violations identified in the report have been referred to the IDEM Office of Water Quality Enforcement Section for further action. Such enforcement actions may include the payment of civil penalties, the reimbursement of response costs, and damages incurred as a result of the spill.

The full report and corresponding documents are available at www.in.gov/idem/cleanwater/2576.htm.


Download PDF Version

For additional contacts:
Judith Nemes, Media Relations Specialist
Environmental Law & Policy Center
jnemes@elpc.org
312-795-3706

Sarah Damron, Chapter Manager
Surfrider Foundation
sdamron@surfrider.org
831-239-1520

Emily Wood, Executive Director
Indiana Wildlife Federation
wood@indianawildlife.org
317-875-9453

Indra Frank, MD, MPH, Environmental Health & Water Policy Director
Hoosier Environmental Council
IFrank@hecweb.org
317-685-8800×1007

Dean Farr
Izaak Walton League
dean.farr@sbcglobal.net
815-893-0540

Bowden Quinn, Director
Sierra Club, Hoosier Chapter
bowden.quinn@sierraclub.org
317-822-3750

Great Lakes Conservation Coalition Urges Swift Approval of Final Asian Carp Plan Coalition of hunting, angling groups supports the Brandon Road Lock & Dam plan

Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, National Wildlife Federation, youngedyked@nwf.org, 734-757-0408

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (May 24, 2019) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) approved a final plan to stop Asian carp from invading Lake Michigan by rebuilding the Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River. The Brandon Road plan will add a gauntlet of fish deterrent technologies within an engineered channel. The chief’s report will now be sent to Congress for approval and funding.

The Great Lakes Conservation Coalition, a coalition of hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations representing millions of hunters and anglers in the Great Lakes region, issued the following statement in response:

“After several years and delay, We are excited to finally see the Corps submit this plan to help stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes to Congress. This critical step in the process is the result of diligent efforts by hunters, anglers, and conservationists across the Great Lakes and the nation to advocate for this plan, including the support of more than 200 hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations. Furthering the relevant timing of the submission of this report, the news just last week that Asian carp eDNA was detected just six miles from Lake Michigan emphasizes the urgency now required of Congress to approve and fund this plan without delay. Asian carp are a national problem requiring a national solution.”

Just last week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service posted results showing six positive environmental DNA (eDNA) detections for Asian carp in Lake Calumet, just six miles from Lake Michigan. For more context on what that means, visit: https://greatlakesconservation.com/2019/05/23/fish-forensics-asian-carp-edna-found-close-to-the-great-lakes/.

 

For the press release announcing the support for the plan from 200 hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations, visit this link: https://greatlakesconservation.com/2019/02/22/over-200-hunting-fishing-conservation-groups-support-plan-to-stop-asian-carp/.

 

Learn more at www.greatlakesconservation.com.

***

The Great Lakes Conservation Coalition is an informal affiliation of conservation groups working in the Great Lakes region and collectively representing millions of hunters and anglers. Working together, we help advance solutions to the conservation challenges threatening our fish, wildlife, and outdoor heritage. The Great Lakes Conservation Coalition steering committee includes Ducks Unlimited, the Illinois Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Indiana Wildlife Federation, the Izaak Walton League of AmericaMichigan United Conservation ClubsMinnesota Conservation Federation, the National Wildlife Federation, the Ohio Conservation FederationTrout Unlimited, and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.

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Take Action to Stop Asian Carp

To sign your conservation club onto this regional letter, please send an email to National Wildlife Federation’s Marc Smith before Feb 25, 2019. msmith@nwf.org, Marc Smith, Director of Conservation Partnerships, National Wildlife Federation, 734-887-7116

SIGN UP FOR IWF’s ASIAN CARP EMAIL UPDATES HERE

(UPDATE 1/4/19) Please be informed that the Army Corps of Engineers has extended the comment deadline for Brandon Road by 60 days to Feb. 25, 2019. Due to the government shutdown, this extension is not yet reflected on the federal register, but is expected to be announced soon.


***Begin Letter***

December XX, 2018

Andrew Leichty PMP
Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District
ATTN: GLMRIS-Brandon Road EIS
Clock Tower Building
P.O. Box 2004
Rock Island, IL 61204-2004

Dear Andrew,

Please accept these comments submitted on behalf of the undersigned organizations as well as our hundreds of thousands of hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreation enthusiast members across the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and nationwide, regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Final GLMRIS Brandon Road Report and EIS (GLMRIS BR Report).

The undersigned organizations appreciate the opportunity to comment. While we support the GLMRIS BR Report, we have some additional comments, which are highlighted below.

Threat

The Great Lakes are a phenomenal natural resource, a network of five inland seas that span 94,000-square miles of surface area, contain 20 percent of all surface freshwater on the planet and comprise the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem. The five lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario —provide drinking water for 35 million people.  In addition, the Great Lakes support a $7 billion fishery; a $16 billion tourism industry; waterfowl production areas that support a hunting economy of $2.6 billion/year; and hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation that generates approximately $18 billion/year.  Combined, these represent a massive outdoor economy that is an integral part of North America’s cultural and outdoor heritage.

Today, we are dealing with the worst crisis to face the Great Lakes since the colonization of the lakes by zebra and quagga mussels: the potential invasion of Asian carp.  Once the invasive carp invade the lakes, there is no turning back; the damage will be done.  Indeed, the urgent need for action is only amplified by the live capture of a silver carp in June 2017 just 9 miles from Lake Michigan on the Lake-side of the electrical deterrents.  Just months earlier, a U.S. Geological Service report estimated that Asian carp would have ample food to survive the near-shore areas of the Great Lakes and their connected river mouth and embayment’s.  Thus, risking the connecting inland streams, rivers and lakes.  We have no choice; we have to take action now to stop the Great Lakes’ invasion by Asian carp.  And we have to take action quickly, while there is still time to save the lakes, and the fish and wildlife that call them home.

Support of the GLMRIS BR Report

Our organizations are supportive of the GLMRIS BR Report, as this plan is the best near-term option for getting additional defenses in place to prevent Asian carp from establishing a population in Lake Michigan and our Great Lakes. This plan includes a gantlet of technologies (acoustic fish deterrent, engineered channel, electric barrier, and a flushing lock) to prevent Asian carp from moving past the lock, while maintaining navigation for shipping.  In addition, we are supportive of removing the water jet measure and replacing it with an air bubble curtain.

Cost Increase

The estimated cost of the project has increased from approximately $275 million to $777.8 million.  This increase is included for the expedited implementation strategy.  We do understand that a large portion of this increase ($317 million and approximately 66%) is estimated as contingency costs.  Given this, the actual cost of this project could be closer to $460 million.  While this is a significant increase in cost, this pales in comparison to the economic risk if Asian carp invade the Great Lakes. Moreover, and as we indicated in the above section, the socio-economic impact of an Asian carp invasion is worth this increased investment.

Implementation Strategies

Given the extreme urgency and the continued threat that Asian carp pose to the Great Lakes, we encourage the Corps to proceed with the expedited strategy to implement this project.

ANS Research and Technology Development

We are glad to see the plan utilize the approach channel and lock as an opportunity to evaluate and optimize ANS controls and maximize the efficiency of the applied technologies.  In addition, we are encouraged that the engineered channel provides a platform for future control technologies.

As such, we request that the Corps continue to support and utilize the most updated research on technology control options to deter and reduce the risk of invasive species transferring between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.  Given the urgency and high risk of Asian carp and other ANS getting into Lake Michigan, research and development on non-structural and structural control technologies must continue.  Additional federal investments moving forward will help inform the Corps as it progresses with the current GLMRIS BR Report and in identifying a two-way solution either at Brandon Road Lock and Dam or at other locations throughout the CAWS.

Non-structural actions must continue

We continue to applaud the current actions from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Service, and other state and federal agencies in utilizing and deploying aggressive harvest activities along the Des Plaines River and other areas in the CAWS in order to ‘fish down’ the population of Asian carp below the Brandon Road Lock and Dam. We are encouraged to see in this plan that non-structural actions will continue under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This continued action will help reduce the leading edge populations of Asian carp adjacent to the Brandon Road Lock and Dam.

Conclusion

In conclusion, our organizations thank the Corps for the opportunity to submit comments.  Preventing Asian carp and other invasive species from transferring between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River is an urgent matter that demands immediate action.  We thank the Corps for its efforts in studying ways to address this critical situation.  We encourage you to consider our comments and move as fast and efficiently as possible to finalize this plan and submit to Congress on schedule.  We need stronger controls in place now in order to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from continuing to swim closer to – and eventually into – the Great Lakes.  Without firm and swift action to stop the further movement of Asian carp and other invasive species, the future of hunting, fishing and our outdoor heritage in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River region is at risk.

Sincerely,

American Sportfishing Association

Anglers of the Au Sable

Antigo Chapter Trout Unlimited (WI)

Austin Chapter 10 of the Izaak Walton League of America
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.)

The Bass Federation of Michigan

Bush Lake Chapter Izaak Walton League of America
Cass County Chapter of the Minnesota Izaak Walton League of America
Columbiana County Federation of Conservation Clubs (OH)

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Conservation Federation of Missouri
Ducks Unlimited

Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America

Fly Fishers International

Fishing League Worldwide

Great Lakes Council of Fly Fishers International

Hoosier Coho Club

Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited

Illinois Division of the Izaak Walton League of America

Indiana Division of the Izaak Walton League of America

Indiana Sportsmen Roundtable

Indiana Wildlife Federation
Iowa Wildlife Federation
Izaak Walton League of America
Lake Erie Charter Boat Association

Marine Retailers of the Americas

Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation

Michigan Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association
Michigan Trout Unlimited
Michigan United Conservation Clubs

Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation

Minnesota Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Minnesota Division Izaak Walton League of America
Minnesota Trout Unlimited
Montmorency County Conservation Club (MI)

National Marine Manufactures Association

National Professional Anglers Association

National Wildlife Federation

New Alsace Conservation Club (Indiana)

New York B.A.S.S. Nation

New York Trout Unlimited

Northwest Indiana Steelheaders

Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association

Ohio B.A.S.S. Nation

Ohio Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Ohio Conservation Federation
Ohio Council of Trout Unlimited

Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation

Owatana Chapter of Izaak Walton League of American (MN)

Pennsylvania B.A.S.S. Nation

Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited
Silvertip Productions (Ohio)
Trout Unlimited
United Northern Sportsmen (Minnesota)

W.J. McCabe (Duluth) Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America

Wabasha Chapter, MN Division, Izaak Walton League of America
Wild Rivers Chapter, Trout Unlimited (WI)

Wisconsin B.A.S.S. Nation

Wisconsin Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Wisconsin Division of the Izaak Walton League of America

Wisconsin Federation of Great Lakes Sport Fishing Clubs

Wisconsin Trout Unlimited
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

IWF Members – July 11th Walking Tour of Eagle Marsh: Lead by Little River Wetlands Project

Eagle Marsh is the second most vulnerable place where Asian Carp could enter the Great Lakes.  On the tour you will see the temporary “carp fence” across the Eagle Marsh – where the Mississippi River and Great Lakes watersheds meet, and learn about the plans to construct levees to permanently separate these two huge basins.

  • Eagle Marsh is a 716-acre wetland nature preserve located on the southwest border of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Ten+ miles of trails allow hikers to access the preserve’s varied habitats of shallow-water wetland, sedge meadow, prairie, mature forest and young trees.
  • 28 bird and two amphibian species endangered or of special concern in Indiana.
  • Bald eagles are often found at the preserve and have a nest just off the property
  • Preliminary results of the Bioblitz survey just completed found an estimated 250 species of native plants and 73 bird species were indentified along with many other exciting finds.

PLEASE RSVP before Thursday, July 10th to info@indianawildlife.org or 317-875-9453

TRIP DETAILS:

Please bring a sack lunch.  IWF will provide water and soft drinks.

Wear waterproof boots as the walk thru the Marsh can be wet and muddy.

Meet at Eagle Marsh 11am, Friday, July 11th 2014

6801 Engle Rd

Fort Wayne, IN 46804

Directions to Eagle Marsh:  click here.  Park at the Barn.

The tour will wrap up around 2:30 pm.

Final Asian Carp Control Forum will be held November 19th in Indianapolis

The Indiana Wildlife Federation in partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the North-west Indiana Forum, Inc., and the Little River Wetland Project announce an educational forum to be held Tuesday, November 19th.

The meeting will cover the progress of control efforts to keep Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species out of the Great Lakes. The forum will also provide back-ground information in preparation for the Army Corp of Engineers report expected to publish in January, 2014, which will present alternatives for stopping Asian carp and all aquatic invasive species transfers between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basins.

Eagle Marsh in Fort Wayne is the second most likely pathway for Asian Carp to get to the Great Lakes. The draft plan for closing the connection between the Wabash River and the Great Lakes will be presented.

Information will also be shared about the location of Asian Carp in Indiana Rivers.

All stakeholders and the public are invited to attend.
Registration is not required.
November 19, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS
3:00-4:45 pm EST
IN Wildlife Federation
708 East Michigan St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Directions and Parking: 708 East Michigan Street – Located in the brick building on the north side of Michigan Street (one way going west) at the corner of Spring Street (just east of College Avenue). Parking is free in the lot on the east side of the building.

Agenda and Presenters:

  • Introduction— Cal Burleson, Vice President and General Manager, Indianapolis Indians
  • Asian Carp Control Progress—John Goss, Asian Carp Director, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) Interim Report—What to expect in the January 2014 US Army Corp of Engineers report –Nate Moulder, Community Planner, US Army Corp of Engineers
  • Eagle Marsh Invasive Species Barrier—Jerry Roach, Assistant State Conservationist, Natu-ral Resources Conservation Service
  • Asian Carp in Indiana– Doug Keller, Aquatic Habitat Coordinator, Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources

Asian Carp Director To Help Honor Indiana Conservationists

Zionsville, Ind. (May 16, 2012) – On May 19th, the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) will recognize six Indiana conservationists, and two conservation organizations at its annual Conservation Awards Banquet at Spring Mill State Park.

John Goss, Asian Carp Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet, providing an update on recent efforts to curb the migration of Asian carp to the Great Lakes.

Every year, IWF honors Indiana residents and organizations that have made significant contributions to conservation and environmental issues.

Governor Mitch Daniels leads the list of award winners that includes a state senator, coalition of government agencies, and other conservation advocates.

All of this year’s winners pursue a common goal to improve Indiana’s environment and make our state a better place for wildlife. Any IWF member can nominate an individual or group for an award, and IWF’s directors select winners from the pool of nominees.

The Conservation Awards Banquet is open to the public. Find more information about the Awards Banquet at www.indianawildlife.org/annualmeeting.htm

The 2012 Indiana Wildlife Federation Conservation Award Winners:

Governor Mitch Daniels is receiving the Theodore Roosevelt Award for his dedication to conservation as demonstrated by large-scale projects such as the Goose Pond acquisition, Healthy Rivers INitiative, and Bicentennial Nature Trust.

Senator David Long, from Fort Wayne, will receive the Legislative Conservationist of the Year award for his work to stop legislation that would have allowed canned hunting in Indiana.

Angela Hughes, government relations associate for The Nature Conservancy, has earned the Conservation Communicator of the Year award for her work leading the Indiana Conservation Alliance and Conservation Day at the State House every year.

The Conservation Cropping System Initiative group (CCSI), comprises Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Indiana State Department of Agriculture – Division of Soil Conservation, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, State Soil Conservation Board, and other partners.

CCSI has earned IWF’s Agriculture Conservation Award for its work promoting environmentally-friendly farming techniques including continuous no-till/strip-till farming, using cover crops, precision farming, and nutrient and pest management. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and ISDA State Soil Conservation Board fund the group’s work.
Jack Corpuz, Indianapolis, will also receive the Theodore Roosevelt Award for his years of work with state officials to improve Indiana’s hunting and fishing license programs, which generate revenue for conservation programs.

Jeanette Wilson, Indiana Department of Transportation, will receive the President’s Award, a prize given at the discretion of IWF’s president. Wilson has been instrumental in supporting efforts to reduce mowing and increase native plant species on Indiana’s roadsides, practices that save the state money and helps wildlife.

The Conservation Educator of the Year, Nicole Messacar, teaches children about wildlife and conservation issues through her role as Education Coordinator for the LaPorte County Soil & Water Conservation District.

North Dearborn Conservation Club, IWF’s Conservation Club of the Year, has educated local youth about safe hunting practices since 1937.

Phil Cox, this year’s Paul Bunner Conservationist of Year, worked tirelessly to several hundred acres of prairie at the Newport Army Depot. His work fostered the return of several state-endangered grassland bird species and other rare wildlife species.

Director Leaves Indiana Wildlife Federation, Takes On Asian Carp

Zionsville, Ind. – After four years as Executive Director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, John Goss has taken a position with the Great Lakes Commission to address the Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes.

As Asian Carp Director, Goss will coordinate a regional effort to prevent a full-blown Great Lakes invasion by the nuisance fish.

IWF has benefitted greatly from Goss’s leadership and work to put organization on the forefront of numerous environmental issues in Indiana.

In 2008, IWF worked with state officials and a coalition of environmental and business groups to make Indiana the first state to fully adopt the Great Lakes Compact, an international agreement to limit the amount of water removed from the Lakes.

With IWF’s support, Duke Energy is building a coal gasification power plant ready for carbon capture and storage.  Goss represented Indiana in development of the Midwest Governor’s Association Energy Platform, a regional plan dedicated to exploring and expanding clean energy in the Midwest.

Goss also worked as a tireless advocate for sound fish and wildlife rules.  In late 2009, Goss led revitalization of the Indiana Sportsmen’s Roundtable, a grassroots advocacy group representing hunting and fishing organizations from around the state.

Hoosiers have also benefitted from Goss’s involvement in major land acquisitions, such as the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, an 8000-acre wetlands restoration project in Greene County, and Putnamville/Atterbury land swap, which resulted in a net gain of about 800 acres for recreational use.

Recently, Goss started IWF’s Phosphorus-Free Lawn campaign, which discourages the use of phosphorus in lawn care.  Excess phosphorus runs off into waterways and stimulates toxic algae growth.  IWF expects to see legislation restricting phosphorus use come up in the next session.

Goss’s impressive track record with the Indiana Wildlife Federation suggests he is up for the carp challenge.

“John has served as the Executive Director for IWF for four years and we will really miss his leadership,” said Steve Cecil, President, IWF Board of Directors.  “While we hate to see him leave, we truly appreciate all that he has accomplished for our organization, and we are proud that one of our own has been chosen to coordinate this very serious wildlife management issue.”

The I.W.F. Executive Committee has begun the search process for the Executive Director position and will soon be taking recommendations and/or resumes.

“We have been fortunate to have benefited from John’s broad natural resources background, and it will be difficult to find a worthy replacement.”

Since 1938, the Indiana Wildlife Federation has promoted the conservation, sound management, and sustainable use of Indiana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy, and action with the vision to create sustainable Indiana wildlife as a source of inspiration, education and recreation.  For membership inquiries or for more information about the upcoming Executive Director position please call 317-875-9453.