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Asian carp have been making their way up the Mississippi River system for years after escaping from fish farms and wastewater treatment ponds in the southern U.S.They’re knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, and a number of people are concerned about what could happen if carp become established in the region.In this five-part series, we’ll take a look at what officials are trying to do to keep the fish out, what might happen if carp get in, and why some people want to turn carp into a business opportunity.

Throwing money at the Asian Carp problem

The Associated Press reports that The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is giving $500,000 to the Great Lakes Commission to help it find ways to stop the invasive Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

The fish started make their way up the Mississippi River system more than ten years ago after they escaped from fish farm ponds in the south. They were imported to control parasites in the ponds. 

My colleague, Lester Graham, reported on the concern over importing the foreign fish back then. He interviewed an Illinois Department of Natural Resouces official who said:

"There's a history of these exotics, imports, escaping into the river system, spreading throughout the entire river basin system and causing impacts on all the other states in the system. And Mississippi appears to tend to ignore that fact and go ahead their own merry way, saying 'Well we're doing this because we want to do it and it's beneficial to us.'"

And now the carp is knocking of the door of the Great Lakes.