Earlier this morning, a convoy of boats headed out on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Their target? Dead fish – casualties of last night's chemical assault on the canal by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. They're looking for signs of silver or the so-called Asian carp – an invasive species that can grow the size of a full-grown man, and can leap over six feet high in the air. Some experts fear their presence will irrevocably harm the aquatic environment and commercial fishing industry of the Great Lakes. But Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm made news yesterday when she said the fish kill won't be enough of a deterrent against the carp. Granholm wrote a letter asking her state's Attorney General to consider suing Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the possible goal of permanently closing the canal. What would a move like that mean for the Chicago-area water system? The Alliance for the Great Lakes
studied that question as part of a 2008 report titled "Great Lakes and Mighty Mississippi: Breaking Up Not So Hard To Do."
Joel Brammeier is the acting president and CEO of the Alliance, and he joins us to explain.
Music Button: Woody Guthrie, "Talking Fishing Blues", from the CD This Land Is Your Land-Asch Recordings Volume 1, (Smithsonian Folkways)