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Asian carp needs to be stopped

March 24, 2010
The Daily Mining Gazette

Once again the U.S. Supreme Court has unfortunately rebuffed Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, along with representatives from six other Great Lakes states and the province of Ontario, in their efforts to keep the Asian carp from entering the world's largest freshwater estuary.

The court first failed to issue an injunction on Jan. 19 that would have stopped water flowing from Chicago's shipping canal into southern Lake Michigan. The invasive Asian carp has worked its way up the Mississippi watershed, reaching into the Illinois River and to Chicago's waterways.

Undaunted, Cox recently led the charge to re-make the case to the Supreme Court with new DNA evidence of Asian carp getting past the O'Brien Lock and into Lake Michigan, as well as a new economic study authored by a Wayne State University transportation expert which shows much lower potential losses to the Chicago economy than was claimed by the state of Illinois.

But on Monday, the Supreme Court said "no" for the second time, rejecting a request to issue a preliminary injunction shutting the locks in the battle against the invasive fish.Cox says he's not done."

We will continue to focus on the reopening of the diversion case in April, with the goal of developing an effective plan to protect the entire Great Lakes region from the devastating threat of Asian carp," Cox said.

According to the Associated Press, many fear that if the invaders reach the lakes, they could lay waste to a $7 billion fishing industry by starving out competitors such as salmon and walleye.

Cox, a Republican running for governor, praised the state's lawmakers for their bipartisan support on the issue and called on President Barack Obama to act to at least temporarily close the locks.

We agree. The President, who has called defeating the Asian carp a high priority, should act now to close the locks while the Army Corps of Engineers continues to work on the problem in Chicago and the Cox and company prepares for another hearing in front of the Supreme Court in April.

For future generations' sake, our Great Lakes need to remain great.



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