LANSING (WWJ) – Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congressman David Camp are teaming up with environmental experts to fight the Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes.
They’re introducing a bill that will call for separation of the Mississippi River from the lakes, to prevent the invasive species from migrating between them. Researchers say the large fish have infested Chicago-area waterways and are threatening to enter Lake Michigan, where scientists say they could damage native fish populations.
Tim Eater, Director of the Great Lakes Commission, told WWJ they’re giving this project a huge head start.
“By the end of this year, we will be completing a $2 million initiative, money we’ve raised from private funders, to do the preliminary engineering and develop a detailed economic assessment of just how to separate these watersheds,” Eater said.
Joel Brammeier, President of the Alliance for the Great Lakes is also on board.
“This concept of separation, not only is it the right solution but it’s a very doable solution. There have been other non-profit groups studying this for years, including my own,” Brammeier said.
The legislation would require the Army Corps within 18 months to come up with a plan for severing the man-made linkage between the two watersheds.
The bills don’t call for closing shipping locks in the Chicago area, although Stabenow said she’ll pursue that in separate legislation.
A previous bill from Stabenow and Camp that would have blocked ships from passing failed.