The Ports of Indiana is warning about the potentially devastating impact of closing the Great Lakes locks system to deal with the spread of Asian Carp. A study shows port and maritime activity in Northwest Indiana have a large economic impact.
Director of Corporate Affairs for the Ports of Indiana Jody Peacock says the industry contributes more than 104,000 jobs and approximately $14 billion to the economy. “There’s huge value in the amount of cargo barges can move,” he says. “They can haul so much, so efficiently. It is the safest, most environmentally friendly mode of transport.”
Peacock says a solution must be found that will protect the Great Lakes from the invasion of Asian Carp, but that solution does not need to come at the expense of vital commercial activity.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, while Chicago waterways do seem to be the likeliest entry point for Asian Carp into the Great Lakes, there are a number of other potential pathways. Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers is investigating several sites.
Asian Carp is a generic name given to four species of carp that are not native to Indiana. The fish were detected in the southwest corner of the state at Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Area in 1996.