Pollution and ravenous Asian carp may threaten the U.S. Great Lakes, but the Obama administration has now put forth a four-year, $475-million rescue plan that would clean up the huge lake ecosystem and institute a "zero tolerance policy" against future incursions by invasive species, AP reports.
The Great Lakes supply drinking water to more than 30 million people, and also support regional shipping, outdoor recreation, tourism and manufacturing. This latest effort goes toward fulfilling a campaign pledge by President Obama to spend $5 billion over a decade on rescuing the lakes, and will launch under the aegis of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Goals for 2014 include cleaning five toxic hot spots, cutting down the invasive species discovered in the lakes by 40 percent, reducing phosphorus runoff, and extending protection over almost 100,000 acres of wetland.
Part of the plan also involves saving native species such as the massive lake sturgeon, a prehistoric fish that can reach 8 feet and 200 pounds. The plan would provide 25,000 young sturgeons for restocking programs, and also try to combat overfishing and loss of habitat.
The proposal has largely drawn praise from environmental groups. But one quibble comes from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, which says that too much restoration money has gone toward fighting the Asian carp that threaten the region's $7 billion sport fishing industry. Instead, the coalition suggests that such funds should come from another part of the federal budget.
Keeping the Asian carp down has proven a tricky battle for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has deployed electrical barriers and mass poisoning to try and keep the intruders from spreading.
Does any one know what the Asian carp taste like?
@ezap: haven't had one myself; western palates tend to dislike most bottom-feeding fish. they're supposedly quite boney, somewhat gritty, and have little meat for their size.
but you can test it out at your local pet store -- they're closely related to goldfish, another species of miniature asian carp.
goldfish really are not so miniature... it's just that the ones you see in the store are young/stunted. We had alot of them in a pond where I went to college. They got fairly large, as long as the herons didn't pick them off. Natural selection at work: the orangest ones in the pond were eaten first (or captured by students such as myself), the drabber fish reproduced.
And where did Obama get this money he is "pledging"? Oh that's right, he stole it from me. This guy needs to understand this is not his money to do with as he pleases. If the locals of those states feel this is a problem, then let them pay to fix it.
Michigan is literally broke we have had to barrow money from other states just to run the day to day. My school had to lay off 5% of its staff due to emergency budget cuts. We don't have the money to fix this problem our self's. Trust me if we could, we would pay for this.
If you really care where the money to fund this is comming form google 'paygo legislation' you might just learn a thing or two
Thanks for helping us with our huge issue!
but what about the canadian side? if you don't coordinate with canada, these plans won't help much.