Senate approves Proos’ Asian carp resolution protecting the Great Lakes

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LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved Sen. John Proos’ resolution urging action to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.

“We must be honest about the threat we are facing. An Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes would forever change the way of life along Lake Michigan, and Southwest Michigan would be one of the first areas affected,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “We need federal action to help prevent a permanent economic and environmental disaster whose impacts would be felt throughout the state and region.”

The Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee was formed in May 2014 with the goal of reaching consensus on short- and long-term measures to prevent Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species from moving between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through the Chicago Area Waterway System.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 supports the committee’s recommendations to implement immediate control technologies at Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Illinois, and to further investigate the specific system of control points for long-term movement of aquatic invasive species into and out of the Great Lakes.

“Asian carp are now only a day’s swim away from entering Lake Michigan, and no one really knows if the electrical barriers standing in their way will be effective at stopping them,” Proos said. “Frankly, that is just too great of a risk to take. We have too much to lose.”

SCR 7 says that Asian carp could out-compete the native fish of the Great Lakes, threatening a $7 billion sport and commercial fishery.

“As part of our constitutional and moral duty to protect the Great Lakes, we must support all efforts to fight Asian carp,” Proos said. “Once aquatic invasive species like Asian carp get established, it is nearly impossible to get rid of them. With this resolution, the Senate is calling for action now because these voracious eaters pose a real threat to our vibrant fishing, tourism and boating industries and the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.”

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/audio.