Governor Pat Quinn says separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems is the “ultimate solution” to prevent voracious Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.
His suggestion is a potential step toward resolving a longstanding regional feud among Great Lake states.
During a Saturday meeting with governors of several of those states, Quinn said it would be an expensive and massive project to rework the Chicago canal project that linked the two giant watersheds a century ago.
But he acknowledged that something has to be done to prevent the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes region has been sharply divided over how to deal with the threat of an Asian carp invasion. The invasion Asian carp could threaten the multi-billion dollar fishing industry in the Great Lakes.
Michigan tried unsuccessfully to force the closure of Chicago-area shipping locks.
Then Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago’s water district, claiming their refusal to physically separate the watersheds was creating a public nuisance.
That lawsuit was thrown out of federal court last December.