Carp Barrier Finished For Years, Never Activated
A $9 million electric Asian carp barrier built to keep these enormous invasive fish out of the Great Lakes was completed in 2006. But it was never turned on because of confusion over what agencies have jurisdiction over the project. I covered this story in 2005, when it looked like a solution was just about finished (see Electrical Barrier To Keep Asian Carp Out Of Great Lakes for more pictures and details).
Asian carp, which weigh up to 100 pounds, were imported into the US for use as bottom feeders in catfish farm ponds in the lower Mississippi. The carp found their way into the Mississippi when the river flooded (who could have predicted that?) in the 1990's. Now they're moving north.
The only path that the carp have to the Great Lakes is an artificial waterway called the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The electric barrier is a system of underwater electrodes that should prevent the fish from migrating up the canal.
(Asian carp barrier location map)
Wildlife biologists fear for the Great Lakes fish species that will perish when out-competed for resources by the Asian carp. The Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies are concerned about the high voltage electrodes, particularly if volatile cargoes like gasoline are transiting on the surface of the canal.
Last week, a letter from 29 US senators and representatives and another letter from the eight Great Lakes governors moved the Coast Guard to agree to turn the barrier on - but only at quarter-strength. Wildlife biologists don't think this will be enough, and the Coast Guard doesn't want it turned up higher. Impasse again.
The Great Lakes have enough problems without giant carp added to the mix. I find it incredible that this $9 million project was completed and yet it cannot be utilized. Carp have been sighted within fifty miles of the barrier;
Science fiction author Roger Zelazny wrote a series of excellent stories published as My Name is Legion in 1976. One of them is set in a marine park in Florida. The park is divided into four separate areas by sonic curtains, which are described as a "sound barrier" that protects the species in the park. Each sonic curtain is controlled by a switches on the bottom; in an unusual touch, dolphins in the park teach each other how to use the controls so they can move freely.
Read many more details at The Tribune.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/18/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?' - Niven, Pournelle, Flynn, 1995.
Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' -
Worms Eat Plastic Now
'Slowly and inexorably, the rate of dissolution increased...' - Davis/Pedlar, 1971.
Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.' - Peter Watts, 1999.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'
Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.
Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'
Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.
Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'
Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'
Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'
Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction.
Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'
Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'
Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'
Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'
Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'
NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'
GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories