Senate panel approves Proos’ Asian carp resolution

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LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday approved Sen. John Proos’ resolution supporting the recommendations of the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.

“We have a constitutional and moral duty to protect the Great Lakes. As part of that duty, we must support all efforts to fight Asian carp and call for action as long as they are threatening the Great Lakes,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “An Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes would forever change the way of life along Lake Michigan. Southwest Michigan would be one of the first areas affected, but the devastating 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.

“We need federal action to help prevent a permanent economic and environmental disaster,” Proos said. “It is impossible for us to accept that our nation would leave our lakes vulnerable to an Asian carp invasion that would decimate our vibrant fishing, tourism and boating industries and wreak havoc on the ecosystems of the Great Lakes and all its inland lakes and rivers.”

SCR 7 states that the Chicago Area Waterway System serves as a pathway for aquatic invasive species to move between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.

“Asian carp are within a day’s swim of entering Lake Michigan with only electrical barriers standing in their way, and it is unclear if those barriers will be effective at stopping them,” Proos said. “One of the main reasons we need action now is that once aquatic invasive species like Asian carp get established, it is nearly impossible to eradicate them — putting at risk the health of our waterways and the livelihoods of everyone who depends on them.”

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

A print-quality version of the above photo is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJohnProos.com/photowire.

Photo caption: Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, testified before the Senate Natural Resources Committee on his resolution supporting the recommendations of the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.