From NRDC in the News, thank you. I am watching this potential fiasco closely.
An environmental watchdog is calling for additional federal resources, and a new plan to keep the potentially ruinous Asian Carp, out of the Great Lakes. Ideastream’s Rick Jackson reports.
The Asian Carp issue pits environmentalists and the sport fishing industry largely against the shipping industry, with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers included in the legal fray because it is would be the Corps’ responsibility to stop Asian carp from migrating from the Mississippi River system into Lake Michigan.
A U-S District Judge last week denied the Great Lakes states request to temporarily close Chicago’s navigational locks, which environmentalists say provide a clear path for the voracious fish to the lake from the Chicago River.
Judge Robert Dow ruled that Ohio and four other suing states failed to show the imminent harm that would require compelling the Corps of Engineers to act.
Now, The Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, is pursuing another option.
“A quick solution in terms of a separation is available….”
Separation ….meaning the rivers in question would no longer connect to Lake Michigan.
NRDC’s Henry Henderson says the `separation’ would involve installing earthen dams – with pumps for moving water, but not fish – from rivers into Lake Michigan. The estimated one time cost is $80-120 million.
That’s far more than the $25 million that the Army Corp of Engineers has budgeted to study the matter over the next seven years. But Henderson says that’s far too long to wait while the Asian carp remains a threat.
“If we don’t stop these, we have sold away a unique opportunity to stop an invasion before it becomes an in-habitation within the Great Lakes.”
NRDC’s Josh Mogerman says even the `best’ study… puts no defenses into the water. Nor, he says, has the Corps introduced any viable option.
“We still haven’t seen that concrete plan that shows as its’ end goal, 100% prevention of Asian Carp getting into Lake Michigan.”
The NRDC has not yet presented its’ plan to Congress.