(Cleveland) - Today, a bipartisan group of Northeast Ohio lawmakers announced they’ve sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) urging swift action to prevent invasive species from entering the Great Lakes.

Rep. Dave Joyce, Rep. Jim Renacci, Rep. Tim Ryan, and Rep. Marcia Fudge penned the letter in response to The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) which outlined options to stop Asian Carp, but fell short of recommending the best path forward.

Invasive species like Asian Carp could destroy the Great Lakes ecosystem which is the backbone of a $7.5 billion commercial fishing industry and 800,000 jobs.

Joyce tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, “To be frank, we don’t have another 7 years to wait for the Army Corps to outline the best path forward. It’s critical that the ACE quickly recommends and executes a plan of action. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs and over 20% of the world's supply of surface fresh water at stake.”

Congressman David Joyce

“The Great Lakes are treasured by our region not only for their natural beauty, they are also the source of hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Rep. Jim Renacci. “I appreciate the Corps of Engineers for its efforts to determine how to best stop invasive species from entering into our Great Lakes, and I urge them to move forward immediately with a plan of action to prevent the destruction of our ecosystem and the fishing industry that relies on it.”

“We need to make every effort to preserve the Great Lakes, not only for our economic well-being, but for what they provide in recreation for people in many states,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “The work the United States Army Corps of Engineers are doing to deal with this invasive species is crucial to countless jobs in our region and the preservation of our environment. The time to act is now.”

Fudge stated, “The Great Lakes are a source of drinking water for 26 million people, and a significant source of jobs - all of which can be harmed by the spread of Asian Carp, a highly invasive and destructive species. The Army Corps of Engineers gathered much needed information and presented options to address this threat. We must now move forward with a plan of action, attacking this problem with the urgency it deserves.”

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(Photos from WTAM & Congressman David Joyce)

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