Posted: Jun 3, 2010 5:26 PM by Greg Boyce
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has ruled out closing Chicago-area shipping locks on a regular basis.
It says doing so wouldn't stop dreaded Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes but could damage the local economy. The Thursday decision dashes the h opes of Michigan and neighboring states that have unsuccessfully asked the Obama administration, Congress and the Supreme Court to order immediate closure. Supporters fear the locks will provide an easy path to the lakes for bighead and silver carp. Biologists say the voracious fish could starve out native species and ruin the $7 billion fishing industry.
The Corps says anything short of permanently closing the two locks wasn't likely to make a difference in the battle to prevent the carp from gaining a foothold in Lake Michigan. That alternative will be part of a long-range study.