Carpe diem—but fish solution may block steel shipments

Dec 04, 2009 | 10:09 AM | Corinna Petry

Efforts by the governor of Michigan to try to close the Grand Calumet River in Illinois have come under fire from the tugboat, towboat and barge industry.

Closing the canal and any locks would have a huge negative impact on waterborne shipments of commodities, according to a spokeswoman for the American Waterways Operators (AWO). The Arlington, Va.-based trade organization estimates that 14.6 million tons of commodities--including 1.1 million tons of iron and steel products--move from Calumet Harbor in Lake Michigan through the Cal-Sag Channel and into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal each year.

Mich. Gov. Jennifer Granholm sent a letter to state attorney general Mike Cox urging him to pursue "every legal means" to prevent Asian carp--an invasive large species that apparently is a danger to other fish--from entering the Great Lakes.....

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