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National Spotlight: Defending Against Aquatic Invasive Species Act of 2014

February 11th, 2014

Earlier this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a report to Congress outlining eight options to prevent the invasive species, such as Asian carp, from entering the Great Lakes. The USACE expects the options for physical separation to cost over $15 billion and take 25 years to complete, due to flood control structures and tunnels that have to be constructed.

MUCC and the citizens who provided public comment on this report agreed that Asian carp will not wait 25 years, it only took them 20 to get from the southern Mississippi to the Chicago Area Waterway System.

In response, Congresswoman Candice Miller (MI-10) has introduced The Defending Against Aquatic Invasive Species Act of 2014, H.R. 4001, which specifically authorizes the Secretary of the Army to completely separate the hydrologic connection between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan and requires them to get started on construction within a year of its enactment.

While the $15 billion price tag for this project is a lot of money, it pales in comparison to the damage that Asian carp would cause to the Great Lakes fishery, which is valued at $7 billion annually. Without effective means to protect our Great Lakes and potentially inland waterways from this aquatic invasive species highway, the $4.8 billion in retail spending by sportsmen and women and the additional $3.2 billion per year in recreational boating-related spending and the economic ripple effect that spending has upon our state’s economy will falter along with our state’s tourism industry and the outdoor traditions that we treasure in Michigan.

We thank Congresswoman Miller for standing up in support of the Great Lakes, Michigan’s sportsmen and women and the conservation of our natural resources.

And now, its time to act! Whether you live, work, or play in the Great Lakes region and especially Michigan, we urge you to contact your members in Congress as well as our U.S. Senators to support this piece of legislation, H.R. 4001, and to support the funding necessary to undertake this initiative.

  • Tom Matych

    After 9 years and $200. million taxpayer dollars, we have 3 options $15 to 18 billion dollars, 25 years to block off one river. Learn how to eat Asian Carp “asian Carp products are the future!” Per Carp czar John Goss. Then we have the 3rd option after 9 years of no known predators, the Feds admit we do have native predators that can control the Asian Carp “the small carp could fall victim to predation and get wiped out in big numbers. That could keep Asian Carp numbers in check” 10/12/13 Journal Sentinel. Now we paid for all this expert advice, we can resorenative fish/predator populations pretty easy, while ya’ll argue and play musical barriers that wont stop spit. I would point out restoring native predators does not in any way shape or form interfere with any other Asian Carp plans. Is part of the overall Asian Carp control plan, 75% effective at REDUCING invasive species numbers (per Feds) Barriers 75 to 95% effective at blocking invasive species with little or no invasive population reductions. 5% to 25% of invasives getting thru, depending on who you ask. We have to look at the whole picture. Here we have a viable carp control that at the worst will only result in more native fish, that can be done now, in case politics dont work out. Yet we have to argue with the MDNR to restore native fish, and according to the MDNR it seems the only way we can fight invasive species is to fill lake Michigan back up with alewives, that eat the same zooplankton as asian carp! Whether it’s Invasive white Perch, asian Carp, even alewives that dominate the system, the natural resource/native fishery is just as gone! ALL invasives eat something, invasive dominant eat a lot! Not hard to figure.

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