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E-M:/ Seaway plan pits jobs vs. ecology

Today's Detroit News has an in-depth story on one of the most ruinous Great Lakes proposals ever advanced -- an estimated $10 to $20 billion scheme to blast and dredge connecting channels and otherwise manipulate the Lakes to admit huge oceangoing vessels.

But the headline is wrong: it's not jobs vs. ecology. Jobs and the ecology will both suffer if this proposal goes forward: more exotic species, disturbance of contaminated sediments, and destruction of fragile habitats are not good for the economy.

"The problems are so immense that you don't even ask the question," said Tim Eder, director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Natural Resource Center in Ann Arbor.

"You don't alter nature in such a radical way and threaten the most important fresh water body on the planet."