Hastings Environmental Law Journal


Charles Lyons


Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) management is an essential component to the health, integrity, and conservation of the Great Lakes as a whole. Asian carp is the most recent AIS threat to the region. While litigation and interstate agreements have not stemmed the fear of the potential effects of the introduction of Asian carp to the Great Lakes, it has encouraged agency action to address the issue. However, the success of implementing proposed measures requires funding and congressional approval with questions regarding their efficacy remaining unknown. Due to the lack of a comprehensive overarching federal statute addressing AIS management in its varied forms, and the unwillingness of the courts to act in an area better suited to legislative solutions, potential solutions that are currently in place simply do not address the problems posed by AIS quickly enough. Based on the history and contentious nature of the Chicago Area Water System (CAWS) in relation to other Great Lakes states, the Asian carp problem may just be another chapter in an ongoing saga that will only conclude with complete hydrological separation of the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes system.