Snyder Trying to Kick Start Plan to Block Invasives from Great Lakes

“How much are we at risk every day we are not doing something to make this happen?”

Pat Batcheller/WDET

Gov. Rick Snyder says a new shipping lock in Joliet, Illinois is needed to stop Asian carp from making their way from the Mississippi River system to the Great Lakes.

But Snyder says it’s taking too long to get the project started.

Snyder traveled to the Lake Michigan resort town of South Haven to make the announcement. He’s trying to create a coalition of U.S. states and Canadian provinces to push the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to start the project. He says Wisconsin, Ohio, and Ontario are already on board. 

Snyder says stop-gap measures like underwater electric fences won’t work forever. And he says a permanent solution will take almost a decade to complete.  

“This is not a fast solution. Boy, I wish I had better news for you there,” said Snyder. “But even if we started today, it could be as late as 2025 to get it in place.” 

“If we don’t start today, how much longer would it even be? And how much are we at risk every day we are not doing something to make this happen?”

Environmental and business groups are also part of the plan. 

“We’re in a race against the clock to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes – with the fish continuing to creep ever closer to Lake Michigan,” said Molly Flanagan with the Alliance of the Great Lakes.

Snyder says participating states can provide seed money, and ideas. But he says it’s still up to Congress to authorize the project and provide most of the funding.