Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Public comment sought on Great Lakes and Mississippi River Asian carp study

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the White House Council on Environmental Quality are hosting a public meeting at the Northwest Indiana Planning Commission Auditorium in Portage Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 4 - 7 p.m. to discuss the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study, or GLMRIS, report that was submitted to Congress on Jan. 6.

The report presents a range of options and technologies available to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species, such as Asian carp, between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through aquatic connections.

The NIRPC Auditorium is located at 6100 Southport Rd. in Portage.

A presentation on the report will begin promptly at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a public comment period. To view the report and details on the public meeting or to register to speak, visit http://glmris.anl.gov/glmris-report/. Comments will be accepted for the administrative record until March 3.

The report identifies eight potential alternatives, from continuing current efforts to complete separation of the watersheds. It evaluates the potential of these alternatives to control the inter-basin spread of 13 aquatic nuisance fish, algae, virus, crustaceans and plants in all life stages with high or medium risk for transfer.

“This report is unique because it identifies a range of options, allows for the incorporation of future technologies, and presents courses of action that may be implemented now to reduce short-term risk,” said Corps Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Commander Brig. Gen. Margaret W. Burcham. “ANS prevention is a shared responsibility, and continued engagement will be an essential next step to try to identify and build consensus toward a collaborative path forward.”

The options concentrate on the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS). The CAWS is a complex, multi-use waterway and is the primary direct, continuous inter-basin connection between the Mississippi River Basin and Lake Michigan. Due to the complexities of the CAWS, mitigation measures are included in many of the alternatives to address the impacts of the ANS controls on waterway uses, users and residents. The CAWS is used for navigation; water supply and conveyance; flood risk management and recreation.

The report provides a description of various evaluation criteria, like estimated cost and timeline information, which can be used by stakeholders to compare plans. However, this report is not a decision document and does not rank, rate or make a recommendation.

 

Posted 2/3/2014