Keeping the Great Lakes great

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“Biologists worried that the voracious creatures — brought to the U.S. as a means to enhance fish farming along the lower Mississippi River in the early 1970s — could escape from their ponds if floods breached the barriers holding them in place.

Sure enough, years later, the carp escaped and found the Mississippi River a paradise of ample food, ideal conditions for reproducing and few natural predators. At 100 pounds, they were big eaters and prolific breeders and they expanded their territory by moving north.

Now, Asian carp have moved up the Illinois River and are knocking at the door of Lake Michigan.

What is at risk? The Great Lakes contain a huge portion of the world’s fresh surface water — 20 percent. Thirty million Americans depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water. The $7 billion fishing industry depends on a healthy ecosystem. And of course, there is the priceless enjoyment millions of us experience when we swim, boat, or simply walk near the lakes.”

Read more: Chicago Tribune


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