Camp Secures Inclusion of Stop the Invasive Species Act in Final Version of the Highway Bill Conference Report
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Today, Congressman Dave Camp (R-Midland) announced the final version of the Highway Bill Conference Report will include the Stop Invasive Species Act which requires a study and plan to prevent Asian carp, and other invasive species, from entering the Great Lakes. As a member of the joint U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate conference committee on the Highway Bill, Camp played a lead role in ensuring the legislation’s inclusion.
Upon the inclusion of the Stop Invasive Species Act in the Highway Bill Conference Report, Camp made the following statement:
“Today Congress took an important step to stop Asian carp from devastating the Great Lakes ecosystem. Over two years ago, a live Asian carp was found in Lake Calumet, less than six miles from Lake Michigan. The responses so far have been temporary fixes when what we need is a permanent solution. The Stop Invasive Species Act lays the groundwork to permanently protect our lakes and the $7 billion fishing industry and 800,000 jobs they support.”
Camp, with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), introduced the Stop Invasive Species Act this past April. The legislation requires the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) ahead of schedule. The study will develop solutions to keep Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species from transferring between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. GLMRIS is currently scheduled to be completed in 2015. The bill requires the Corps to complete the study within 18 months and create a plan to hydrologically separate the bodies of water.
Hydrological separation is the only sure way to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes and prevent the invasive fish from destroying the ecosystem and devastating the $7 billion fishing industry. Separation means severing the man-made ties connecting the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins that were created when the flow of the Chicago River was reversed in the early 1900s. In January, the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative released a study showing hydrological separation is both technically and economically feasible.