U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) today delivered the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a case brought forth by Michigan and several other states seeking to close major Chicago-area navigational waterways as part of a broader effort to address the invasive Asian carp species:
"Chicago area residents can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Supreme Court has officially denied these irresponsible demands for lock closure as a response to the Asian carp threat. Rather than stop the fish, closing the locks would only serve to destroy jobs, flood basements, and reverse a century of economic progress built on Chicago's status as a vibrant shipping and navigational link.
"And while efforts to litigate have failed, efforts to legislate lock closure are still being pushed by a handful of politicians from surrounding states. It's time to re-focus on scientifically-sound solutions, and Illinois continues to lead the way in protecting the precious ecosystem of the Great Lakes. With our support, electric dispersal barriers have been erected. Fish sampling, waterway management, targeted fishing, and the deployment of fish toxin have all been used to combat the carp. And these efforts are paying off. A recent a six-week search for Asian carp throughout Chicago's waterways resulted in zero catches.
"The Supreme Court has spoken. Enough is enough. Officials in Michigan must put aside their "act now, think later' mentality, stand with us to safeguard Midwest jobs, and fight to preserve all the economic and environmental treasures afforded to us by the Great Lakes. Fighting these carp must be a team effort on the part of all Great Lakes states, and I hope today's decision puts this issue to bed and opens a path to greater cooperation on scientifically-sound solutions."