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Beline Obeid
October 31, 2013
Grosse Pointe Park — Declaring it an imminent threat, the city council approved a resolution urging federal and state officials to do something immediately about Asian carp threatening Michigan lakes.

“It would be a disaster to allow this fish to invade our water,” said Mayor Palmer Heenan, as he introduced the resolution at Monday’s city council meeting.

At issue is the invasive nature of the fish, first introduced in the United States in the 1970s to control algae at fish farms located in the south near the Mississippi River. The fish found its way into the Mississippi and have worked north. They threaten to enter the Great Lakes at several points near Chicago.

“For some reason, the Chicago people don’t want us to prevent this,” Heenan said.

The resolution, passed unanimously by council, endorses a physical separation as “the most effective way to keep invasive carp from entering Lake Michigan through the Chicago Area Waterway System, and such barriers would also prevent the movement of many other invasive species from one basin to the other.”

Time is of the essence in establishing these barriers, the resolution continues, stating, “that preventing the invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence ecosystem needs to be approached with the greatest sense of urgency by all those responsible for dealing with this matter.”

According to the resolution, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a multiyear, comprehensive study across the United States side of the Great Lakes basin that examines 19 locations where the carp could cross over from the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes.

The resolution supports physical separation, deems it feasible and that it “can be done in a way that maintains or enhances water quality, flood control, and transportation.”

The resolution concludes with the Park strongly urging “all parties involved to identify a preferred solution to the invasive carp issue and move forward to implement that solution with the greatest sense of urgency.”

Councilman Dan Clark said DNA results indicate the carp may have breached the barriers in place.

“This would have devastating consequences,” he said.

This is the second resolution the council has passed regarding Asian carp.

The first, passed by council in March 2010, urged the closing of locks near Chicago.

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