Leahy Wants Champlain Canal To Stop Pest's Spread Into Lake

07/30/12 5:50PM

Senator Patrick Leahy wants the nearly two-century-old canal linking the Hudson River and Lake Champlain to be closed.

He says his goal is to keep a new invasive species out of the lake.

But New York state officials are rejecting that plea. They say closing the Champlain Canal would do severe harm to the economy of east-central New York.

Leahy's concern is the spiny water flea, a half-inch-long barbed pest similar to a tiny shrimp.

It's feared the pest has the potential to hurt fish populations in the lake. The creature has been found in the canal and is thought to be spreading toward the lake.

New York officials say they're talking with the Army Corps of Engineers about the best strategy, but they say closing portions of the canal isn't it.



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