Huizenga leads bipartisan effort to stop Asian carp

Alex Doty • Jun 23, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Efforts are ramping up in Washington, D.C., to try and protect the Great Lakes from the threat of Asian carp.

Earlier this week, House Great Lakes Task Force co-chairs Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, and Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, were joined by Senate Great Lakes Co-Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, in leading the bipartisan introduction of the Stop Asian Carp Now Act.

This legislation would compel the Trump administration to release the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Brandon Road Study within seven days of the bill’s enactment. The study provides guidance on how best to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes and is an important hurdle before further action can be taken.

"The threat Asian Carp pose to the Great Lakes both ecologically and economically is clear,” Huizenga said. “As policymakers, it is critical that we have the best information available to protect the Great Lakes. Delaying the release of the completed Brandon Road Study only shortens the window we have to address this growing problem. I urge the Trump administration to release this important study so we can determine the best path forward in stopping the spread of this destructive and invasive species."

Stabenow said that it is “incredibly irresponsible” for the Trump administration to continue to block the Army Corps of Engineers from releasing the study, which lawmakers say cost $6 million to produce.

“Our Great Lakes are so essential to our economy and our way of life in Michigan,” Stabenow said. “Our bipartisan bill would require the administration to release the report immediately so we can move forward with a permanent solution.”

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, said “swift action” is needed to protect the Great Lakes from the spread of invasive Asian carp and to make sure the waterways remain healthy.

“I am proud to support this legislation that will require the Army Corps of Engineers to quickly release the Brandon Road Study so that we can immediately take the necessary measures to protect our Great Lakes ecosystem from this harmful invasive species,” Peters said.

Lawmakers continue to try and build bipartisan support for the Great Lakes effort.

“Bill (Huizenga) was very instrumental in making sure that this legislation was bipartisan,” said Brian Patrick, spokesman for the congressman’s office. “We’re really beating the drum to get bipartisan support.”

The Stop Asian Carp Now Act is cosponsored and supported by 31 members of the House and seven senators. The entire Michigan congressional delegation is in support of this measure.

Patrick noted that the legislation is about putting the Great Lakes first, as their health is something that goes above and beyond political affiliation.

“If the carp get in here, it’s going to be a dramatic change for the worse,” he said.

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