DETROIT, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Michigan is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the Great Lakes' $7-billion-a-year fishing and tourism industries from an aquatic invader, officials say.
In a lawsuit filed Monday, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox asked the high court to order the closing of locks and waterways in the Chicago area to prevent invasive Asian carp from entering the lakes from the Mississippi River basin, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Asian carp can grow to 50 pounds and consume 20 percent of their weight in plankton a day, experts say, quickly ravaging any native ecosystem.
Closing five river and canal locks leading to the lake should be done quickly, Cox said, noting that Asian carp DNA has been detected within miles of Lake Michigan.
"With DNA within six miles of Lake Michigan, now is the time to do it," Cox said.
He accused both the Bush and Obama administrations of foot-dragging.
"They haven't acted quickly enough," he said.
Opponents say closing the locks would have drastic economic consequences, disrupting the flow of goods and commodities shipped on the lakes, rivers and canals for distribution.