Governors of the Great Lakes states and Canadian officials have recently vowed to work more closely to combat aquatic invasive species that threaten the Great Lakes system, but disagreements over the best course(s) of action linger.
From The Detroit News:
“But the difficult balancing act of weighing the economic and transportation interests of the eight states and two Canadian providences against the long-term ecological stability of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway was on full display Saturday at the Mackinac Island summit of regional officials.Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, whose state has faced criticism and lawsuits for moving too slow to combat the invading Asian carp, surprised fellow governors by shifting the state’s position to support the sealing off of the manmade Chicago waterways that connect the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes.‘Ultimately, I think we have to separate the basins,’ Quinn said at the first meeting of the Council of Great Lakes Governors in eight years. ‘I really feel that is the ultimate solution. We have to do it.’
Quinn’s endorsement of separating the two basins, seen as a potential breakthrough by environmentalists, was criticized by neighboring Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, even as the Great Lakes leaders sought to appear united on other issues at the summit.
Pence said his state remains opposed to closing the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal’s connection to Mississippi River tributaries that provide a southern transportation route for freighters carrying $1.9 billion in goods annually from Indiana factories and farms.”