Cost into the billions to separate water link between Great Lakes and MississippiRegional News
-- It would cost between three-billion and nine-and-a-half billion dollars to separate the artificial water link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.
It would cost between three-billion and nine-and-a-half billion dollars to separate the artificial water link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Groups that represent Great Lakes states and cities announced three hydrological alternatives yesterday.
They said the separation is the only sure-fire way to protect both the Mississippi and the Great Lakes from future invasive species, including the bloated Asian carp. And the groups said the barriers should be in place by 2029. The study cost two-million dollars, and it covered many areas of an ongoing study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that won't be completed until 2015. The Corps is studying ways to close 18 pathways between the two systems -- and they say they need time to look at the best alternatives.
But Wisconsin and several other states say the Great Lakes cannot wait that long, and they've filed suit to require the federal government to get going now on a separation. Michigan State House Republican Dave Camp says the study shows that a hydrological separation is both "technically and economically feasible." The new report did not say how the project could be paid for. Environmental groups say the expense would be worth it in the long run, to keep the Asian carp and other foreign species from ruining the Great Lakes.