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The cost of carp

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce projects a $4.7 billion cost to the state’s economy over the next twenty years if locks between Lake Michigan and the Chicago waterway system are closed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

But Thom Cmar at NRDC’s Switchboard points out that no one is actually proposing that.   What’s needed, he argues, is not a simple closing of locks, but a well-planned permanent solution including hydrological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River ecological systems, through construction of barriers that prevent transfer of water – but also new infrastructure that’s badly needed to address a range of looming water management and transportation challenges.

As Cmar suggests, the choice is between a kind of willful, blind resistance and responsible, comprehensive planning – and the latter is more likely to minimize economic pain in the long run.

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Category: environment, Lake Michigan

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