CHICAGO Aug 31 Six Great Lakes states that
unsuccessfully sought a court order to seal off the lakes from
invading Asian carp on Wednesday asked other U.S. states to
apply pressure on Congress to act.
The plea was sent to 27 states that could suffer or have
suffered from the impact of foreign species invading the Great
Lakes and the Mississippi River basin such as Zebra mussels and
Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and
Wisconsin asked other states to sign off on a letter by Sept.
13 that would ask congressional leaders to act on two pending
pieces of legislation. The legislation would call for immediate
action on separating the Great Lakes basin from the Mississippi
River and speed up a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study on the
subject due to be completed in 2015.
The focus has been on man-made waterways near Chicago that
scientists say are pathways for invasive species, from mussels
dumped in the Great Lakes from the ballast water of ocean-going
ships to Asian carp that escaped into the Mississippi River
from fish farms during past floods.
The voracious Asian carp have taken over stretches of the
river and its tributaries, and the Army Corps has taken steps
such as electronic fences to block their advance into Lake
Michigan. So far, one carp has been caught within a few miles
of Lake Michigan.
The attorneys general of the six states, arguing that the
carp threaten the Great Lakes' $7 billion fishery, lost their
bid in U.S. District Court for a preliminary injunction to
separate the two basins.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling this
month, but said the lawsuit had merit and that the efforts to
block the invading carp needed to be monitored closely.
(Editing by Greg McCune)