Tuesday, February 2, 2010

White House Summit to Discuss Asian Carp Crisis

From the Toledo Blade

Article published February 01, 2010

White House to host Asian carp talks

The Obama Administration said it will host a White House summit on Feb. 8 to discuss the Asian carp crisis with Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.
The 2:30 p.m. meeting, which the administration has closed to the public, will include Nancy Sutley, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The participants are trying to settle on how to keep the voracious carp from destroying the Great Lakes fishery, valued at $7 billion.
The greatest potential value of controlling the carp is in western Lake Erie, the most biologically productive part of the Great Lakes.
Lake Erie holds more fish than the other four Great Lakes combined. Officials have been hoping to diversify the region's sagging economy by promoting fishing - especially in Lake Erie's western basin.
DNA evidence shows Asian carp, nonnatives introduced to North America via Arkansas fish hatcheries, have breached a $9 million electrical barrier the Corps built southwest of Chicago in hopes of keeping the fish from reaching Lake Michigan. They have been swimming up the Mississippi River for years.

Michigan is one of the nation's leaders in registered boaters. It has more Great Lakes shoreline than any other state.

Ms. Granholm and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, with support from Ohio and other Great Lakes states, have sought to have two locks between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi closed at least temporarily to keep the invasive fish out. Illinois officials have resisted, citing a loss of shipping revenue.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear a case Mr. Cox filed against the state of Illinois, saying he should have filed it against the Corps.
- Tom Henry

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