The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fighting the Asian Carp Another Way

After the Supreme Court sided with protecting the minimal economic interests of the state of Illinois in their decision to let the locks continue operating in the waterways leading to Lake Michigan, I wasn't sure what other actions could be taken. Enter the Honorable Debbie Stabenow, Senator for the state of Michigan. She has introduced the CARP ACT in Congress.

If passed, it will take decisive action to keep the carp from reaching the lake including:

Immediate closure of certain Chicago-area locks: Directs the Army Corps of Engineers to close the O'Brien Lock and Dam and the Chicago Controlling Works until a controlled lock operations strategy is developed.

Immediate installation of interim barriers : Directs the Army Corps of Engineers to install barriers in the North Shore Channel and the Grand and Little Calumet Rivers to prevent the migration of bighead and silver carps into Lake Michigan, as well as between the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) and between the Illinois & Michigan (I&M) Canal and the CSSC to prevent carp from entering the Canal during a flood event.

Enhancement of existing barriers and monitoring systems: Includes granting authority to the Army Corps of Engineers to acquire all real estate interests necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the barrier system.

Mitigating the impact on commerce and the City of Chicago: Instructs the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct two studies: one to develop a strategy to mitigate the effects of this bill on existing commerce in the canals and rivers, and one to abate the effects on Chicago flood control.

Preventing and eradicating Asian Carp: Grants the Army Corps of Engineers new authority to eliminate and prevent the spread of Asian Carp through the use of fish toxicant, commercial fishing and netting, harvesting, and other means necessary.

This points out the wisdom of a three-branch democracy. Checks and balances, my friends, balances and checks.

Let's encourage the Executive and Legislative branches to bring some balance back to the system after the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. If this decision stands unchallenged, we will move from a democracy to a corpocracy where corporations control the government. If that happens, the government formerly 'of the people, by the people, for the people' will no longer exist.


  1. Between this and the decision that wiped out prohibitions on unlimited corporate contributions to political campaigns, can you doubt that we are already living in a corpocracy? But we can take it back at the grass roots. That's always the way it is. Freedom will find a way.

    As for the carp, I think thousands of Michiganians should arm ourselves with whatever implements of war we have at hand--I intend to carry the ice chopper I use on the stairway--and descend upon the upper river. There we should attack not the misguided denizens of Illinois, though it might be sorely tempting, but the fish themselves. Whack 'em. Net 'em. Shoot 'em. Whatever it takes. And then we can eat 'em. We'll be hungry.