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Environmentalist says Army Corps report demonstrates Asian carp threat
Hearings coming up next week in Cleveland and in other Great Lakes cities for the $18 billion option -- and others

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Proposed solutions to the Asian carp invasion range from electrical barriers to reworking the Chicago shipping channel.
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO
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In The Region:

Environmental groups say a new report by the Army Corps of Engineers crystalizes their case for spending $18 billion to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes  -- and other invasive species from spreading inland. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, the report is likely the start of the fight, not the end.

LISTEN: Asian carp and the Great Lakes region

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The Army Corps is laying out eight options to try to stop the carp. The most expensive would restore a natural separation between the Chicago River and the Great Lakes. Supporters say is the best bet to block the voracious carp from their continued migration up the Mississippi – and their threat to the $7 billion a year Great Lakes fishing industry.

Joel Brammeier of the Alliance for the Great Lakes acknowledges the $18 billion in federal -- and perhaps Great Lakes state -- money would also be used to create flood reservoirs and massive storm tunnels that would primarily benefit the Chicago region.

 “We should give people in the Great Lakes region a lot of credit for understanding that the quality of life of Great Lakers in Illinois is as important as the quality of life of Great Lakers in Ohio. And I think we’re going to continue to see that kind of support in Congress and through the states as we understand the implication of doing nothing.”

But critics say the plan is too expensive, too slow and too uncertain to be viable. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says  he’s seen “too many of these long-term Corps projects languish for years.”

Other options in the report include spending $68 million a year to net and poison carp and maintain an electrical barrier in the shipping channel. But the corps documented late last year that the carp have made their way around the barriers.

LISTEN: Henderson on the scope

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Public hearings schedules on the Asian carp study:
January 9
GLMRIS Report Meeting
Chicago, Illinois
January 13
GLMRIS Report Meeting
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
January 16
GLMRIS Report Meeting
Cleveland, Ohio
January 21
GLMRIS Report Meeting
Ann Arbor, Michigan
January 23
GLMRIS Report Meeting
Traverse City, Michigan
January 27
GLMRIS Report Meeting
Twin Cities, Minnesota
January 30
GLMRIS Report Meeting
St. Louis, Missouri
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