Update: Carp Causing Rift Among Great Lakes States, as Michigan Sues Illinois
Last month, we ran a link reporting that giant Asian carp had breached an electronic barrier designed to keep the...
Last month, we ran a link reporting that giant Asian carp had breached an electronic barrier designed to keep the invaders from moving through a canal connecting the Mississippi River with Lake Michigan and thus entering the Great Lakes ecosystem, with potentially disastrous consequences. At that time, several groups were calling for Illinois to close all gateways and locks leading into Lake Michigan.
Now, Michigan is suing Illinois to that end–a move that could upset a fragile unity among Great Lakes states culminated in 2008 with the Great Lakes Compact.
From The New York Times:
_In an urgent effort to close down Chicago-area passages that could allow the unwanted fish to reach Lake Michigan, the State of Michigan is suing the State of Illinois and other entities that govern the waterways here. Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin have filed documents in recent days supporting Michigan’s move, and Indiana says it will soon do the same. . .
_[Michigan attorney general Mike] Cox, a Republican who is running for governor of Michigan this year, said hundreds of thousands of jobs in his state depended on Lake Michigan, and in December he filed a lawsuit. “This is an environmental and economic emergency,” Nick De Leeuw, a spokesman for Mr. Cox, said of the potential damage the carp could inflict throughout the lakes. “It’s almost like a bad science fiction movie. . . .”
_The suit leaves Illinois leaders in an awkward spot: though many of them have expressed horror at the thought of Asian carp taking over Lake Michigan, a closing of locks could also cause damage for a barge industry [among other things]. . . .
David Naftzger, executive director of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, [said that] if some solution to the carp problem cannot be found, all sorts of progress could eventually be at risk.
There’s much more to this complicated story, so be sure to check out the full article.