Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fight to keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes reaches Supreme Court

The fight to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes reached the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, as Michigan's attorney general filed a lawsuit seeking closure of two shipping locks near Chicago. Claiming Illinois officials have been lax, Michigan Atty. Gen. Mike Cox asked justices for immediate action to seal off the most direct route for fish entering Lake Michigan, in hopes of protecting the region's $7-billion fishing industry. "We don't want to have to look back years later . . . and say, 'What was the matter with us? We should have done something,' " Cox said. Closing the locks, he said, was "the easiest, the most reliable and the most effective" short-term step officials could take. In addition to closing the locks, the lawsuit seeks creation of barriers to prevent carp from escaping the Des Plaines River or neighboring waterways during flooding. Cox also called for a study of Chicago's water system to understand the size and scope of the Asian carp population. The lawsuit comes during a period of heightened anxiety over recent DNA research that hinted the voracious fish may have bypassed an underwater electric barrier system -- and could now be within six miles of Lake Michigan...read more

No comments: