Boaters are against the proposed closures of Chicago-area locks and prefer the Obama administration's solution, which includes a $78.5 million approach to slow the advance of the Asian carp and a search for other means to halt the invasion, rather than closing the locks, according to the Great Lakes Boating Federation.
There are 7,000 boaters in the Chicago area with moorings and winter storage areas in the Chicago harbors and in the river system. One in five Great Lakes residents is either a boat owner or a boating enthusiast, the federation says.
"The boating community that uses southern Lake Michigan would be willing to consider using the locks less often in an effort to combat the invasive species," said F. Ned Dikmen, chairman of the Great Lakes Boating Federation, in a statement.
"In an effort to fight the Asian carp invasion, boaters would be open to less frequent use of the locks, similar to the flotilla protocol that is utilized for bridge openings on the Chicago River during the boaters' seasonal migratory transits to and from their storage yards to the lake," he added.