By Zane McMillin
U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga applauded and echoed recent comments by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn about separating the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes system.
In a statement Monday, Huizenga said he was "encouraged" by Quinn's weekend call for a Chicago barrier to keep invasive species like Asian carp out of the lakes.
"A biological barrier preserves an estimated $7 billion in economic activity generated by Great Lakes fisheries, protects Michigan's pristine waters for our sportfishing and recreational boating industries, and helps safeguard the ecosystem from future invasive threats," Huizenga, R-Zeeland, said in the statement.
Quinn's comments came during a Saturday, June 1, meeting of Great Lakes-area governors on Mackinac Island.
The Associated Press reported Quinn said the effort would be costly and large in scope, but necessary to stem the invasion of species harmful to the Great Lakes ecosystem.
"Ultimately, I think we have to separate the basins," Quinn said. "I really feel that is the ultimate solution."
Huizenga, whose 2nd Congressional District includes many miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, said he hoped the governor's sentiment "will translate into action."
"It's time to reverse the river's course to its natural state and with it conserve the ecosystem of the Great Lakes for future generations," Huizenga said.