A new study says it would cost up to between $3 billion and $9.5 billion to separate the artificial water link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.
The report done by the interstate Great Lakes Commission shows three specific ways to separate that connection. It’s part of an effort to prevent invasive species including the Asian Carp from entering the Lakes.
Environmental groups say the expense would be worth it in the long run to keep the carp from ruining the Great Lakes and connecting waterways. The voracious feeders can grow up to 90 pounds destroying ecosystems which the Alliance for the Great Lakes says will lead to lost tourism and fishing related dollars.
Changes at the Mississippi River/Lake Michigan connection have been a contentious issue. Suggestions to close Chicago lock system have been met with opposition by Illinois officials who cite major economic loss from the heavily traveled shipping channel.