On Monday, President Obama met with Governor Quinn and other governors from the Great Lakes to identify a resolution for halting the Asian Carp's invasion of the Illinois Waterways. Efforts to limit any negative financial ramifications to the surrounding Marine industry are at the forefront as the interim solution of closing the water locks has been a topic of debate. The Attorney Generals from surrounding states have waged litigation against Illinois in efforts to effect our state's response to the issue.
Monday's meeting resulted in a commitment of $78.5 million in federal resources to halt the Asian Carp's migration into the Great Lakes. Asian Carp DNA has been found in Lake Michigan-furthering concerns that it may already be too late.
The Asian silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) were declared an invasive species in 2007 under the Lacey Act in part because of their voracious feeding habits. The carp pose an ecological threat to the indigent flora of Lake Michigan, the Great Lakes and tributaries. The carp also pose a safety threat to boaters because of their large size and high jumping ability. Having made their initial entrance to the Mississippi River basin from containment ponds during flooding in the 1990s, they have been a lingering issue that has made it's way up the riverways to the Great Lakes.
The impact to the boating community in South Lake Michigan is also at stake. There are still a considerable number of boat yards inland of the navigation locks that control the egress to and from Lake Michigan. Action to close or limit operation of the locks may have an impact to boaters in the local area. Limited operation for commercial barges and vessels is estimated to negatively impact Illinois economy by a loss of $1.5 billion per year in revenue and numerous losses in jobs.
To read more From the Associated Press Story- US to commit $78.5M to try to halt Asian carp
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