For the first time ever, eight governors and two Canadian premiers -- separated by borders but connected by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin -- signed a Mutual Aid Agreement to work together to fight aquatic invasive species such as Asian carp.
Every year, millions welcome the start of the New Year as an opportunity to reflect and resolve. It seems fitting that we begin 2014 with our own version of resolutions that seek a shared result -- a healthy Great Lakes ecosystem for many new years to come.
If Asian carp enter the basin, they have the potential to devastate native fish species and alter our aquatic ecosystem, creating a ripple effect that could touch everyone who depends on this delicate web of life for water, food, and livelihoods.
When it comes to the Asian carp debate, a long-running problem in the Great Lakes region is a laser-like focus on Chicago and its waterways. Minnesota has recently taken steps that should serve as an example.
Asian carp alarmists have fixated on Chicago's waterways as the lone path for the fish to enter the Great Lakes. But recent discoveries of carp in Wisconsin and Iowa underscore that we cannot simply focus on aquatic pathways.
While we could quibble with some of the letter grades assigned, Senator Kirk deserves much credit for putting together a valuable document that can help stimulate policy discussions about the health of the Great Lakes.
We have heard repeatedly from the carp team that the electric barrier erected by the Corps to shoo away the invaders, by shocking the water, is keeping the fish out. But evidence shows it doesn't really work.
Sen. Dick Durbin spoke in Chicago on Friday afternoon to address the ongoing Asian carp issue, stating that the capture of a live Asian Carp beyond all locks and barriers to Lake Michigan is a "wake up alarm."