Statement by Christine Goepfert and Marc Smith, Stop Carp Coalition Co-Chairs
“Today, the Stop Carp Coalition celebrates a successful milestone in protecting Minnesota’s waterways from invasive Asian carp with the closure of the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock in Minneapolis. The lock will officially close to traffic at midnight tonight. After more than three years of gathering support from the local community and elected officials, the Stop Carp Coalition recognizes this lock closure as an important step in the fight to stop the spread of invasive carp in Minnesota waterways, including part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
“With invasive carp already in Minnesota waterways and making their way upstream, the most recent catches in the St. Croix River at the end of May, the threat of these invasive fish is real and work is far from over. One important method for stopping invasive carp from continuing their migration upstream are physical barriers or deterrents. The closure of the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock will provide that needed physical barrier. While this lock closure will help protect waters upstream, thus reducing opportunities for invasive carp to migrate further north, more work is needed to protect the waters south of the lock, including the St. Croix River.
“The installation of deterrent technologies at locks 2, 5, 8 along the Mississippi River would help create a system of multiple protections to slow the carp march upstream. However, robust funding is needed at the local, state and federal levels to continue such projects. Additionally, the Stop Carp Coalition is calling on recreational users to not use Lock #1 at Ford Parkway in order to keep those doors shut to invasive carp, thereby protecting the Gorge on the Mississippi River.
“The Stop Carp Coalition thanks Senator Klobuchar and Congressman Ellison for their leadership to close the St. Anthony Falls Lock, as well as Senator Franken and Representatives Paulsen, Nolan and Walz for their support of this critical measure. Moving forward, we will work with elected officials and federal, state and local agencies to advance additional strategies that will protect all waters in Minnesota, with the hope of slowing or stopping invasive Asian carp from advancing further north.”
About the Stop Carp Coalition: The Stop Carp Coalition is a group of more than 20 groups representing sportsmen and women, private property owners, anglers, conservation and environmental organizations that are collaborating to bring attention to the invasive Asian Carp threat in Minnesota. Together we educate the public and elected officials about impacts to our environment and economy, mobilize our combined thousands of members and supporters, and advocate for strategic initiatives to slow and/or stop the spread of these harmful invasive species. Learn more at www.stopcarp.org.
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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