Obama administration launches $78.5-million plan to combat Asian carp invasion
The Obama administration on Monday announced a $78.5-million strategy to try to block voracious Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.
The plan calls for navigational locks and gates in Chicago-area waterways to be opened less frequently than usual, reports the Associated Press.
Administration members believe that the measure is part of an effective strategy to keep the fish at bay until long-term biological controls can be developed.
"Today, we have an opportunity to work together to prevent environmental and economic damage before it happens," said Nancy Sutley, head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She referred to the plan as "an unparalleled effort on the part of the federal government."
Six other Great Lakes states -- Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- are opposed to the plan as it stands, asking that the locks be closed permanently to halt the invasive fish from advancing to The Lakes, where it is feared the carp would adversely affect sport and commercial fishing.
Obama "proved today that he'll do anything to protect the narrow interests of his home state of Illinois, even if it means destroying Michigan's economy," Cox said.
Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm doesn't believe that "there is any parochialism happening," though she fears the measure won't be enough. "You have to permanently shut these locks down," she added.The carp are not only damaging to native fish species but are a safety risk to boaters, as the fish have been known to jump out of the water -- excited by the vibration from spinning propellers -- causing injury to anglers and damage to vessels.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Asian carp can jump as high as 10 feet out of the water when disturbed by a passing boat. Boaters and water skiers have been injured by the airborne fish. Credit: Nerissa Michaels / Asiancarp.org
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