HAMBURG, N.Y. — Nate Drag grew up on Lake Erie.
"I was a lifeguard all though high school and I remember seeing dead fish washing up and dead birds on the beach," he said.
He decided to turn his passion for the Great Lakes into his life's work. He now works for the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
Friday, he and volunteers helped clean up Woodlawn Beach.
"Adopt-a-beach event, which is a year round citizen science program where volunteers come out and collect and monitor litter that's on the beach, as well as do a beach assessment," he said.
Drag's job is not always easy. He said it seems like there's always a new problem around the bend.
"Asian Carp is a big thing right now," Drag said. "The big fear is that they'll be the next invasive species to come in and mess with the balance."
The fish were imported into the South in the seventies, found their way into the Mississippi in the nineties, and started swimming north.
"In essence, knocking on the door because they're very, very close to Lake Michigan and once they get into the Great Lakes, we can't just turn around and send them back," said Helen Domske, coastal education specialist.
Scientist believed hundreds of these fish would need to cross electronic barriers set up near Chicago to start a self-sustaining population in the Great Lakes, but a new Canadian study suggests otherwise.
"If they're in a small area of the lake, like a little embankment, even if there are just ten or twenty of them, they could reproduce and their eggs float," Domske said.
Asian Carp can grow to be more than a hundred pounds and compete with native fish for plankton.
"Everything in the lake depends on what's going on in the planktonic community and if they're filtering all that out, they're taking that away," Domske said.
They're also known for jumping out of the water.
"People have had their noses broken," she said. "People have been knocked off jet skis. People have been injured. They've jumped in boats."
The Buffalo Common Council President Rich Fontana said the council plans to call upon the federal government to head off the issue.
"We want to make sure that Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit all work together as one to call attention, call national attention to this problem on the Great Lakes," Fontana said.
"We don't want to keep going into uncharted territories and saying okay, well this came in but we've survived this thing in the past. Let's see if we can survive this one too," Drag said.