A new study says the costly proposal of separating the Mississippi River basin from Lake Michigan may not act quickly enough to stop the spread of Asian carp. Environmentalists say separation is the only way to prevent invasive species like the carp from moving from Illinois waterways to the Great Lakes. The author of this new study, Joe Schwietermann of DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitian Development says that’s not only the most expensive option, but it may take too long to work.
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“Were you (to) invest in this 25-year project, plus the time for environmental review, which would probably would push it more to, you know, 27, 28,” Schwietermann said, “we have a reasonably high probability that the carp will have found some other way to get into the lake.” The study also says there’s the risk that new, more effective technology will be developed to provide a cheaper alternative to stopping invasive species before the separation project is finished.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its report on how to combat the spread of Asian carp last month. It included six options to build new structures to partially or completely separate Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basin.