As Asian Carp continue to threaten to invade the Great Lakes, the plethora of legal and technological maneuvers to prevent that invasion have intensified. On Monday, Keith Ashfield, minister of Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans department, said his country will devote $17.5 million to protecting the Great Lakes from Asian carp, including development of an early warning system with U.S. agencies so authorities can react quickly if the invasive species is detected.
“We are committed to working with our American counterparts to continue to protect the Great Lakes basin,” Ashfield said. “Together, these measures will go a long way toward our ultimate goal of stopping Asian carp from entering and becoming established in the Great Lakes.”
The Obama administration has spent more than $100 million on efforts to shield the lakes from silver and bighead carp, which were imported from Asia decades ago to clean fish farming ponds and sewage lagoons in the southern U.S. They escaped during floods and have migrated northward, gobbling huge amounts of plankton – microscopic plants and animals at the base of aquatic food chains.
Scientists say if the aggressive carp reach the Great Lakes, they could destabilize ecosystems and damage the $7 billion fishing industry.
The epicenter of the battle is a network of rivers and canals in the Chicago area that form a link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi watershed. The U.S. government operates an electric fish barrier there, and officials are considering whether to build structures that would separate the two systems.
The problem of invasive species touches on much of Roosevelt University’s Sustainability Studies curriculum, including SUST 210 The Sustainable Future, SUST 220 Water, SUST 330 Biodiversity, and SUST 340 Policy, Law, and Ethics. If you are interested in learning more about the program, investigate our degree options and our course listings. For more information, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email applyRU@roosevelt.edu.