Skip to main content

As part of its agonizingly long 5 yearGreat Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study, the US Army Corps of Engineers identified 40 problem invasive species, in addition to asian carp, that could cross between the Mississippi/Great Lakes watershed. That is to say, invasive species that can hop from one watershed, and infest the other.

Why agonizingly long? Because nobody is denying there's a threat to the two water basins, and the threat is closing in right now. DNA studies have found the highly damaging asian carp species to be close to the Great Lakes, some even claim they've gotten beyond the electric barriers.

We are watching a disaster unfold while years of research goes on about how or if we can stop it. Personally I'd like to see more action. We know it's a problem and we know it goes well beyond Asian carp, and it impacts two vast water sheds.

Here's how the study group defines an "invasive" species:

"Invasive" – an alien or native species that can grow quickly, spread rapidly, and dominate an area to the point where native species are displaced, or have taken an area over because native species were eradicated by a previous event

The critters identified aren't what you might expect. Many of them are things like algae, bizarre fresh water invertibrates like Lophopodella carteri which is toxic, so there's nothing that can eat them:

There are also things like the shrimp-like scud and the spiny water flea which are painful for fish to eat. There are several varieties of those on the high threat list. And multiple types of fish.

We're not looking at just one direction of infection...from the Mississippi to the Great Lakes. Heavens no. We're looking at bi-directional more cases we're actually looking at creatures crossing from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi basin. Many of these invasive species came into the Great Lakes from distant lands, carried in freighters and deposited from ballast water. And from there, they now are able to move into the Mississippi water basin and the massive network of tributaries beyond....and why?

Because there is no longer the natural separation between the watersheds of the two water bodies. The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal joins the two water basins and accelerates the rates of invasive species infestation...much faster than native species can adapt to. Much faster than local natural resources management teams can respond to.

These two water sheds need to be separated. I'd like to see action now.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site