Schuette Praises Quickness of Great Lakes Commission Study On Separation of Great Lakes And Mississippi RiverContact: John Sellek or Joy Yearout 517-373-8060Agency: Attorney General
January 31, 2012
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today praised the release of a thorough study conducted by the Great Lakes Commission and the St. Lawrence Cities Initiative that examines a permanent ecological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, noting the group completed the study in just 18 months, whereas the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study may not be complete by 2015 or beyond.
"Asian carp are knocking at the front door of the Great Lakes, so we simply do not have until 2015 to complete a study. We need to get started separating these two bodies of water as soon as possible," said Schuette. "The Great Lakes Commission accomplished in months what the Army Corps hasn't been able to do in years. With thousands of jobs and a spectacular ecological resource at stake, we can no longer afford to wait for the federal government."
The study released today, called Restoring the Natural Divide: Separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins in the Chicago Area Waterways System, is available at www.glc.org/caws. As Attorney General, Schuette is designated by statute to serve on the Great Lakes Commission.
Schuette noted he is continuing forward with Michigan's lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Water District, joined by attorneys general from Minnesota Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as well as the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The states filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case and require the Corps to take action to install block nets in certain parts of the Chicago waterway system and accelerate the completion of its own study of permanent ecological separation between the Great Lakes and Mississippi river basins. Schuette expects a decision from the Court regarding whether it will accept the states' request in the spring.
In addition to the lawsuit, Schuette is continuing his efforts to build a national coalition to demand tough action by Congress to force the Corps to combat the spread of invasive species through the Chicago Waterway System, including the voracious Asian carp.