Army: Stopping Asian Carp Could Take 25 Years
Great Lakes solution will cost up to $18B
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2014 12:05 AM CST
Coming soon to a lake near you? Asian bighead carp swim in an exhibit at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.    (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The fight to keep Asian carp from colonizing the Great Lakes could take longer than any war America has ever fought, the Army Corps of Engineers warns in a report commissioned by Congress. The report offered eight strategies to keep the invasive species from overwhelming the ecosystem and ruining a $7 billion fishing industry, the most effective of which could take up to 25 years and cost around $18 billion, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Physical separation of the Mississippi watershed from Lake Michigan was the most drastic option, but the Army engineers also looked at methods including new locks and electronic barriers to keep out the carp and other invasive species. The $18 billion plan may be a tough sell, but environmentalists fear that cheaper options won't be enough to keep the carp out. "If you really want to prevent the movement of species and keep Lake Michigan clean, it's going to cost money," the president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes tells the Chicago Tribune. "We can't just keep patching over these problems and hoping they go away."