Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act
Asian carp are a real and immediate threat to Michigan's economy and our way of life. In August of 2013, an 82-pound carp was found in a river not far from Lake Michigan. If those fish are able to establish breeding populations in the Great Lakes, it will be devastating for our $7 billion fishing industry and our $16 billion boating industry.
Sen. Stabenow, Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Great Lakes Task Force, has been leading the effort in Congress to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species. In 2012, Sen. Stabenow's bipartisan Stop Invasive Species Act was signed into law. This law required the Army Corps of Engineers to submit an action plan to Congress outlining ways to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species. The Army Corps of Engineers has proposed several options, including the construction of an engineered channel at the Chicago waterway to put control technologies in place to keep carp out of the Great Lakes.
New Legislation to Stop Asian Carp and Invasive Species
Senator Stabenow has introduced bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate that authorizes immediate action to stop Asian carp. The Defending our Great Lakes Act (S.589) gives the Army Corps of Engineers the broad authority needed to stop the spread of invasive species in the short-term and to develop a permanent solution to prevent the spread of Asian carp through the Chicago waterway. Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House.
About 25 miles south of Chicago, the Brandon Road Lock and Dam is a critical point in the Chicago waterway system. It is also an 82-year-old structure that is slated for significant modernization. As they are rebuilding that structure, this bill requires the Army Corps to equip the lock and dam with proven technology to stop the spread of Asian carp. This legislation also requires the Army Corps to use the Brandon Road complex as a testing ground for other technologies that can monitor Asian carp and stop them from reaching the Great Lakes.
The Defending Our Great Lakes Act instructs the Army Corps to work closely with the City of Chicago, Great Lakes governors, businesses and environmental groups to address how to stop invasive species while protecting shipping and local commerce, preventing flooding, and improving water quality.
Support for the Defending Our Great Lakes Act
The legislation is supported by the National Wildlife Federation, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Freshwater Future, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Environmental Council, Prairie Rivers Network, Save the River-Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, Sierra Club-Great Lakes, and Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.