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Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Michigan Sues Illinois to Protect Great Lakes

December 24, 2009

CHICAGO - In a frantic move to stop an invasion of Asian carp in the Great Lakes, the state of Michigan has asked the nation's highest court to step in and take action. Citing inaction by Illinois officials, Michigan attorney general Mike Cox is calling for the closing of two shipping locks near Chicago in hopes of keeping Asian carp out of Lake Michigan.

Howard Learner, the executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, says he understands the urgent need to keep Asian carp out of the lake, but isn't sure a lawsuit is the best way go.

"What we all need to do at this point is look forward. Recognizing that Asian carp are getting distressingly close, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana public officials need to work together to keep the Asian carp out of Lake Michigan."

Environmental officials say the recent discovery of Asian carp DNA near the Great Lakes puts the region's $7 billion fishing industry at stake. Learner says Illinois stands to lose in two ways if Asian carp make their way into the lakes.

"The Great Lakes provide drinking water to about 40 million people and comprise about 21 percent of the fresh water in the entire world. That's an international treasure that we should be protecting, both for ecological reasons and for economic reasons."

Cox also is calling for the creation of new barriers that would stop the voracious carp from escaping the Des Plaines River or other nearby waterways in the event of a flood. Illinois officials have yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Aricka Flowers, Public News Service - IL