Saturday, June 26, 2010
Durbin asks Obama to appoint carp czar - Chicago Breaking News
Durbin asks Obama to appoint carp czar - Chicago Breaking News As concerns mount about the presence of Asian carp near Lake Michigan, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin today urged President Obama to appoint a carp czar to oversee efforts to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.
"We need to have one person who coordinates the efforts of the federal, state and local agencies that are doing everything they can to keep the Asian carp out of Lake Michigan," Durbin said during a news conference at the Shedd Aquarium. "We believe it's absolutely essential."
Durbin was responding to the discovery of a bighead carp, a variety of Asian carp, during routine sampling this week in Lake Calumet, just six miles from Lake Michigan. Standing beside environmental advocates who have championed closing Chicago-area locks as a way to prevent carp from entering Lake Michigan, Durbin called the finding a possible "game changer" and said "we have to take it very seriously."
Durbin wants a czar so the President will have ultimate control over what happens to Illinois shipping in the Chicago River. He has been trying to prevent anybody from interfering with the status quo--an obviously ineffective system that is allowing the carp to move up the river toward Lake Michigan. Durbin thinks Obama will look out for the local economic interests, which are substantial. Durbin is afraid the Supreme Court or even Congress (imagine them actually solving a problem!) will effectively close the canal and river system down to prevent these nasty carp from wrecking Lake Michigan and then the rest of the Great Lakes.
The Supreme Court refused to rule on this twice in the last term. Big mistake, in my opinion. These Asian carp are a destructive invasive species. We were looking at them yesterday in the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Weird things, with eyes below the midline of their bodies--constantly sucking in water and eating the plankton. They grow at an incredible rate and if they kill the bottom of the food chain, the Great Lakes will never be the same.