Letter: Waterway link vital to Louisiana

There has been much media attention up and down the Mississippi and in the Great Lakes region about the need to prevent invasive species, particularly Asian carp, from entering the Great Lakes. One solution some are calling for is the physical separation of Lake Michigan from the Mississippi at a critical link between the two waterborne superhighways, the Chicago Area Waterway System. Those of us who work and reside in Louisiana need to pay attention to what is taking place, as Louisiana sends more cargo through the CAWS than any other state.

While the need to stop the spread of invasive species is real, proposed separation is not sound public policy. Water transportation propels the economy of states from Illinois to Louisiana. Our water transportation system moves agricultural goods, petroleum products, building materials, coal, chemicals, and many other commodities we rely upon daily for our own use and for our nation’s exports.

What is needed is the desire of all stakeholders to find practical, effective, science-based solutions that balance legitimate economic and environmental concerns. Louisiana has a stake in this debate. We need to add our voice to those calling for a sensible approach.

Spencer Murphy

risk management professional

New Orleans