Bipartisan bills introduced to stem flow of Asian carp

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would stop the entrance of Asian carp, and other similarly invasive species, into the Great Lakes region.

These invasive species have placed countless jobs at risk, as they are a serious threat to the ecosystem of the Great Lakes, as well as its dependent industries. The region gains $7 billion from recreational fishing and $16 billion from recreational boating.

This legislation, titled the Defending Our Great Lakes Act, will provide federal agencies with the authority to immediately take action against Asian carp and similar species.

The act will obligate agencies and regional stakeholders to collaborate, in order to implement long-term standards, which hope to protect the Great Lakes, as well as the Mississippi River basins.

“Finding a solution to the threat from Asian carp and other invasive species is not easy,” Sen. Stabenow, co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Great Lakes Task Force, said. “Working alongside members of the Michigan delegation and a wide range of stakeholders, including other Great Lakes lawmakers, our bill is our best chance of halting these fish as they come through the Chicago waterway.”

“We cannot afford to take a cavalier approach when it comes to protecting our Great Lakes from Asian carp,” Rep. Miller said. “This destructive species is quickly migrating north, destroying nearly every ecosystem along the way. In fact, just this week, we learned that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has identified nearly 30 of these aggressive fish just south of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, which is why this bipartisan, bicameral legislation I am working with Senator Stabenow to advance is so important.”