Despite decades of work on the issue, invasive Asian carp remain one of the greatest threats to the ecology and economy of the Great Lakes. To protect the ecosystem – as well as the thousands of tourism, fishing and boating jobs in Michigan and other Great Lakes states – Michigan was willing to make a substantial investment to upgrade barriers on the Des Plaines River in Joliet, Illinois, to prevent the carp from getting into Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes waterways ecosystem.
However, without Illinois’ approval, it was unlikely that Michigan could move forward. A campaign was required to encourage agreement among top decision-makers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The campaign also needed to gain support from citizens, business leaders, stakeholders and others.