Asian carp pose a serious threat to the Great Lakes environment. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, and the Canada-Ontario Invasive Species Centre will co-host an Asian Carp Public Forum from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on November 8, 2012 at the Palais Royale in Toronto, Ontario.

The Forum is in response to ongoing public concerns about the potential impacts of Asian carp if they were to establish themselves in the Great Lakes. The public, organizations, and media are invited to hear from U.S. and Canadian agencies about actions being taken to reduce these threats.

David Ullrich, executive director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence and Cities Initiative, expressed delight that several key agencies from the U.S. will be travelling to Toronto to participate in the Asian Carp Forum. "The Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources are among the U.S. agencies expected on November 8," noted Ullrich. These are some of the critical organizations that have been working on strategies and tactics to address the threat of Asian carp and prevent their introduction into the Great Lakes.

Bob Lambe, executive director of the Invasive Species Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, confirmed that both the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) will participate in the Forum. "OMNR and DFO have been collaborating with each other and with their U.S. counterparts for some time on Asian carp issues, and the Forum will provide a great opportunity to learn about what is being done in Ontario and bi-nationally in response to the threats posed by Asian Carp," said Lambe.

Ullrich and Lambe complimented the Canadian and Ontario governments on their recent decisions to join the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC), a multi-agency committee which was created to develop an Asian carp control program to protect and maintain the integrity and safety of the Great Lakes ecosystem from an Asian carp invasion by all pathways.

Members of the public, organizations, and media planning to attend the Forum are asked to pre-register at no later than October 22, 2012.