Public Comments Show Strong Support for Separating our Great Lakes from the Mississippi River

Public Comments Show Strong Support for Separating our Great Lakes from the Mississippi River

by Cheryl Kallio

Well now you have done it! But in a REALLY good way. With your help, the message is getting out about what needs to be done to stop an Asian carp invasion.

I was at a public meeting in Traverse City, Michigan hosted by the Army Corps of Engineers about their newly released “GLMRIS” report on eight options to stop Asian carp and other invasive species. Many of you, along with Freshwater Future, have been communicating to decision makers for years that we think the strongest option to protect our Lakes from an Asian carp invasion is to separate them from the Mississippi River system and restore natural divides that originally existed. Indeed, the Corps report notes that separation is the strongest option.
After giving an overview of the report at the meeting, the Corps spent time taking comments from the public. Though we were in the midst of a snowstorm, there were over 100 people at the Traverse City meeting, and overwhelmingly people spoke about the need to separate our Lakes from the Mississippi River. Anglers, boating associations, the local mayor, local groups and citizens were all educated about this issue, spoke passionately and agreed that the Corps must move forward the separation option.
All agreed that the proposed 25 year time line is unacceptably long and we need shovel ready action expedited now. Similar support has been shown at the Corps’ public meetings in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Milwaukee, the Twin Cities and Erie, PA.

It is important that we keep pressure on the U.S. Congress to take action on these findings. Now is a great time to speak out and let your members of congress know you want them to move forward with the separation of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River systems.

 

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.