(Chicago, IL) – January 26, 2010. Citing the Asian Carp threat to the Great Lakes, Todd Connor, a Democratic candidate for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, today called for a plan to re-configure the Chicago area waterways and close the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
“The current arrangement is not sustainable,” said Connor, 31, a former U.S. Navy officer.
“Whether it’s Zebra mussels, Asian carp or a species to be determined, the existence of this man-made aquatic superhighway will continue to present an environmental hazard that we cannot afford.”
In 1900, the then named Chicago Sanitary District reversed the flow of the Chicago River and built the Sanitary and Ship Canal to send wastewater away form the Great Lakes. The result has been the gradual depletion of fresh water from the Great Lakes watershed and the invitation of invasive species from the Mississippi.
“While we solved one problem for the City of Chicago at the time, we created a number of others—the consequences of which we are feeling today,” said Connor, who has been endorsed by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Daily Herald.
Connor’s comments come on the heels of a press conference at the Shedd Aquarium in which elected officials, including those from the water district in attendance, dismissed the claims of neighboring states, arguing that there is no cause for concern as the existence of fish has not yet been determined.
“Rather than pointing fingers at the other states, and telling them to leave us alone, the MWRD needs to act with a sense of urgency to devise a solution for this man-made problem,” Connor added.
If Connor wins on Tuesday, February 2, he will part of that solution.
We hope he has a plan in mind.