CHICAGO (AP) - The
governors of eight states surrounding the Great Lakes and the leaders of two
Canadian provinces agreed Saturday to join forces to combat invasive species
including Asian carp.
over the best long-term solution and how to pay for it, the mutual aid deal
reached Saturday empowers the states and Canadian provinces to share staff
and expertise to do what they can to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great
Lakes and imperiling the fishing industry.
"The threat of
aquatic invasive species transcends borders, and this agreement allows us to
address this threat through collaboration and cooperation,” said Michigan
Gov. Rick Snyder, co-chairman of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.
round of meetings in Chicago between the council and the Canadian provinces
of Ontario and Quebec also addressed improving maritime transport and
attracting Chinese and other foreign investment in manufacturing in the
The bighead and
silver carp species have infested much of the Mississippi River basin since
escaping from southern fish farms in the 1970s. They are threatening to
reach the Great Lakes through rivers and canals, leading the federal
government to spend millions to try to stop them. They are a menace to the
aquatic food chain because they eat enormous amounts of plankton needed by
disagreement over how to stop the fish centers on the idea of physically
separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi watersheds by placing structures
in the Chicago-area waterways that offer an aquatic pathway for the carp to
reach Lake Michigan.
There is strong
opposition to that approach in Illinois and Indiana.
But the talk at the
two-day meeting at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium was of cooperation.
“We may come from
different shorelines, but challenges go beyond our borders,” said Illinois
Gov. Pat Quinn, the council’s other co-chair. “As leaders of the region, we
come together as champions for our beloved Great Lakes.”
The Great Lakes
council is made up of the governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,
Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.