Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act
Asian carp pose a serious threat to our Great Lakes and our economy - threatening our $7 billion dollar recreational fishing industry and $16 billion recreational boating industry, both of which create thousands of jobs in Michigan. The discovery of Asian carp very close to Lake Michigan should serve as a wake-up call to government agencies about the urgency of this situation. Senator Debbie Stabenow has been working with Senators from neighboring Great Lakes states on legislation to erect barriers to prevent the spread of Asian carp into Lake Michigan.
Senator Stabenow's bill requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct and expedite a study to determine the best way to permanently separate the Mississippi Basin from Lake Michigan. This permanent separation will allow shipping and boating through but would prevent the water from the Chicago waterway - and any invasive species living in it - from entering Lake Michigan.
In addition, Senator Stabenow and Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced the Close All Routes and Prevent Asian Carp Today Act (CARP ACT) in 2010. This bill would require the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately close certain Chicago-area locks, install interim barriers, and enhance existing barriers and monitoring systems.
This legislation requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study to determine how to best separate the waterways to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes. The study will also address flooding threats, Chicago wastewater, water safety operations, and barge and recreational vessel traffic alternatives. It will examine other modes of transportation for the shipping industry and influence new engineering designs to move canal traffic from one body of water to the other without transferring invasive species.
The study must begin within 30 days of the bill's enactment and the Army Corps must send a progress report to Congress and the President within six months and again in 12 months. The full study must be completed and given to Congress and the President 18 months after the bill is enacted. It will be monitored by the Council on Environmental Quality to ensure its thorough and timely completion.
Finally, this bill makes sure our Federal scientists and biologists are monitoring all invasive threats to the Great Lakes, including those outside of the Chicago area. Senator Stabenow will continue her fight to stop the spread of invasive species and to protect our most valuable natural resource, the Great Lakes.