Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

March 21, 2014

Editorial: New strategies, resolve needed to halt Asian carp

When — “if” seems way too optimistic — Asian carp finally take hold in the Great Lakes and the sport fishing and recreational boating industries have taken billion-dollar hits, remember Richard Durbin, Mark Kirk, Daniel Coats and Joe Donnelly.

They’re the U.S. Senators from Illinois and Indiana, respectively, who refused to sign a letter to the U,S, Army Corps of Engineers asking a series of questions about the Corps’’ plan of action — if it has one — to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

The letter also pointed out, once again, that time counts.

“We want to impress upon you the need to implement short-term measures to stop Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes, and to move aggressively toward a long-term solution,” the letter said.

That this latest missive will fall upon deaf ears seems a given. In what is becoming a more and more brazen power play, politicians from Illinois (including, one can assume, President Obama) and Indiana and lobbyists for a host of Chicago-area business interests appear to have effectively slowed the Army Corps’ response to the Asian carp threat to a crawl.

The Corps hasn’t actually stopped working on the problem. It’s just that every move it makes regarding this issue is incredibly slow, even by bureaucratic standards. In a recent report that took more than four years to complete, the Corps said one option — it declined to say which of eight options it preferred, leaving that decision to politicians — would cost $18 billion and take 25 years to complete.

That plan, to physically separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds by placing structures in Chicago-area waterways, just happened to be the same plan favored by the six states represented in the letter and many environmental and advocacy groups.

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue