Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said Monday that an online petition with 90,000 names has been delivered to the Obama administration demanding the emergency closure of two Chicago area navigation locks to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.
Cox is at the forefront of the legal battle to close the locks and construct a permanent barrier between the Mississippi River basin, where Asian carp are wreaking havoc on native ecosystems, and the Great Lakes, where it is feared the invasive fish could destroy the estimated $7 billion-a-year sport and commercial fisheries.
Five Great Lakes states have filed a lawsuit in federal court to force closure of the locks, including Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in northern Illinois, accuses the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago of creating a public nuisance by operating locks, gates and other infrastructure through which the carp could enter the lakes.
The U.S. Supreme Court has twice rejected state pleas to close the locks, but did not rule on the merits of the legal claims.