Biggest debate: How to stop them

Amidst an industrialized area 25 miles southwest of Chicago, where the city’s striking skyline is replaced by smokestacks, a row of unassuming buildings house man’s only existing defense against Asian carp.

Inside the boxy, steel-sided structures, a handful of Army Corps of Engineers personnel tend to the electronic and mechanical equipment that keep the Electric Dispersal Barriers up and running.

An electrical hum emanates from refrigerator-size computers in the control room, giving the sense that touching any bit of metal in this place could result in a spark.

Known collectively as the electric barrier, the facility is a series of three short-circuited underwater systems — the oldest, an experimental “demonstration barrier,” and two stronger, newer barriers known as IIA and IIB.

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