Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Closing the Locks

This is good news: Congress is poised to close the Saint Anthony lock.  This will effectively stop the spread of invasive carp species to the rest of the Mississippi and related watersheds north of Minneapolis.  It will also save taxpayer money, because this lock now sees much less use than comparable facilities.

I realize that there will be some impact on industry, and some of that impact will be in Minneapolis.  But the job and other economic losses from the lock closure - 72 jobs, according to one report - are nothing compared to the economic impacts of the invasive carp taking over the waterways north of our city.  And this closure may also aid the efforts of North and Northeast Minneapolis to redevelop the riverfront, which will create different kinds of jobs and housing opportunities.

A note on the risks posed to waterways in northern Minnesota: they're not "exaggerated," no matter what the Army Corps of Engineers says.  While there are dams north of Minneapolis, none stand as good a chance as the Saint Anthony dam to stop the invasive carp.  And the idea that it's acceptable to allow this invasive species to destroy northern Minnesota waterways because the BWCA and "other popular northern Minnesota waters are not connected" to the Mississippi is absolutely crazy.  Here are the watersheds that would be contaminated if we fail to stop the invasion at the Saint Anthony lock:

  • The northern Mississippi, obviously
  • Leech Lake River
  • Pine River
  • Crow Wing River
  • Redeye River
  • Long Prairie River
  • Sauk River
  • Crow River, north and south forks
  • Rum River
These watersheds include Lake Mille Lacs, among many others, and something like fourteen state parks.

I do not believe that his is an exaggerated risk.


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