Asian Carp, White Privilege, Shipping Season On The Great Lakes

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While racism is a topic many are familiar with, Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferrett explore the less well-known concept of “white privilege” or what it means to be white. They also discuss the latest on Asian carp news and talk with a member of the Coast Guard about the launch of shipping season on the Great Lakes.

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  • Lawmakers From Great Lakes Urge Action To Battle Asian Carp

    A group of lawmakers from the Great Lakes region said that they think the federal government isn’t doing enough to prevent of the invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.

    On March 14, 11 U.S. senators, including Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, wrote a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging both quick action and a long-term solution to the invasive species’ movement into other waterways.

    “To move forward with a long-term solution, a phased implementation may be needed,” the senators wrote. “What interim measures could the Corps move forward with that would allow for the most flexibility with a long-term solution?”

    Asian carp can be found in large numbers in the Mississippi River basin and stakeholders in the Great Lakes region are concerned by the possibility of an invasion into Lake Michigan.

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Egan said the Asian carp have had a major impact in the areas they’ve already spread to.

    “What’s happened in the Mississippi basin over the last 20 years is that (Asian carp) have literally overrun stretches of river and squeezed aside — if not entirely eliminated — other species,” he said.

    Egan said the carp are a greater threat to boating and shipping than other species of fish because “they are incredible reproductive, they grown fast, they grow big and they jump out of the water.”

    While the habitat of the Mississippi basin has encouraged rapid breeding among the carp, the impact they might have on Lake Michigan is still unknown, the reporter said.

    “The jury is still out as far as what would happen if they get into the Great Lakes … they do expect they could do fairly well in the bay s and harbors that feed the lakes,” said Egan.

    So far, the city of Chicago has tried to stem the Asian carp’s reach into the lake with an electric shock barrier. According to Egan, “they’ve only found one actual Asian carp above this barrier,” however, “water samples have routinely picked up evidence of the fish since 2009.”

    The long-term plan that regional lawmakers might be pushing for is the separation of the Mississippi River basin from Lake Michigan, which would cost billions and take as long as a decade to implement.

    “Most people agree that the only long-term solution is the physical separation of the two watersheds,” Egan said.

  • U.S. Senators Ask Army Corps Of Engineers To Do More To Stop Asian Carp

    A bipartisan group of 11 U.S. Senators, including Wisconsin’s own Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, sent a letter thsi month to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking them to do more to prevent the spread of Asian carp. A Great Lakes reporter explains what’s being done now to prevent the invasive species from making its way into the lakes and what solutions are being considered.

  • What It Means To Be White

    The 15th annual White Privilege Conference starts this week in Madison,convening almost 2,000 people from communities all over the country. Veronica Rueckert asks two participants what white privilege means.

  • With Shipping Season A Day Away, Ice Cutting Efforts In Full Swing On Lake Superior

    The Soo Locks are set to open tomorrow, March 25, which signals the offical kickoff to the Great Lakes shipping season. WPR’s reporter from the Superior region talks about some of the seasonal shifts underway on Lake Superior.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Dan Egan Guest
  • Amer Ahmed Guest
  • Abby Ferber Guest
  • Mike Simonson Guest
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Marika Suval Producer
  • Chris Malina Producer

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