Schuitmaker: Reforms to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species introduced in Senate

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LANSING―A comprehensive package of bills designed to protect Michigan from increased ecological catastrophe and millions of dollars in lost revenue was introduced in the Michigan Senate today. The reforms establish a council to determine how to protect the state from continued invasions of aquatic invasive species.

“The invasive aquatic species that have infiltrated Michigan’s waterways present a serious ecological and economic threat to our state,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, who cosponsored the legislation. “By forming an advisory council, we are putting together great minds to develop a long-term strategy that will help eliminate aquatic invasive species from the Great Lakes region.”

Under the new legislation, the Great Lakes Basin Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Advisory Council will work with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Office of the Great Lakes to update and implement the state’s existing AIS management plan. The measures would also require the council to review all existing state laws on aquatic invasive species and make recommendations for strengthening protections against further invasions.

Senate Bills 508–510 were sent to the Senate Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism for consideration.

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