Shut down the St. Lawrence Seaway

Now that Minnesota has joined Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania in a war on the Illinois shipping industry, I am reminded of the perils of the round goby.

The what?

The round goby is a bug-eyed fish of prey that entered the Great Lakes in the ballast tanks of ocean goby.jpgfreighters two decades ago and now is multiplying in great numbers in Lake Michigan. Their population explosion has raised alarms that they may endanger native fish and beneficial invasive species, such as salmon. (Read a report of the perils and benefits of the round goby here.)

If this sounds familiar, more recent alarms are being raised about an invasion of Asian carp, and the possibility that they would wipe out the commercial and sport fishing industry in the Great Lakes. (I have previously written about the carp warnings herehere and here.)

To halt the spread of the carp, those five states have filed suit in the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to force Illinois to close the locks leading from the Mississippi watershed into the Great Lakes. The action would cripple, if not destroy, inland shipping between the two watersheds via the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

Read more in the Chicago Daily Observer

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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