Time is important in Asian carp fight

A federal report released this week on Asian carp contains recommendations critical to the future of the Great Lakes.

Included in the findings from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are recommendations for $275 million in technological and structural upgrades to the Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River, one of the last structures before the Chicago Ship Canal.

While the study was welcomed, it does not address the speed that this issue requires to resolve the threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes ecosystem.

If work began today on the recommendations offered in the study, work would not be completed until 2025. That is unacceptable. Already two carp have been found beyond the electric barriers in the Chicago Ship Canal. We need quicker solutions than something that will take eight years to complete.

Michigan politicians are a little more accepting of the report than we are.

“The plan lays out important steps that must be taken to stop the relentless advance of silver and bighead carp toward Lake Michigan,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

“It is encouraging that the Army Corps is considering concrete actions to stop the carp from entering our Great Lakes,” said U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, while U.S. Sen. Gary Peters said “we must move quickly to ensure the Great Lakes are protected against invasive Asian carp that can disrupt this important ecosystem.”

We are glad to see federal officials in agreement that more needs to be done to prevent the Asian carp from advancing any further. We disagree, however, that taking eight more years to implement the recommendations makes any sense at all.