State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, today introduced two resolutions urging congressional lawmakers to take immediate steps to help stop the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Earlier this week, LaFontaine hosted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a joint committee meeting to discuss the growing threat.
“We heard loud and clear from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the next step to stopping Michigan’s Asian carp threat is for the federal government to take immediate action, specifically congressional action,” said Rep. LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township. “We are glad options have been presented in their report, but taking the next step should not and cannot wait.”
The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that presents a range of options and technologies to prevent AIS movement in the Great Lakes and surrounding regions. The proposed fixes include varying combinations of physical barriers and treatments plants, which would restrict, if not eliminate, the transfer of AIS-contaminated water from the Mississippi River.
Asian carp and other invasive species have the potential to damage Michigan’s precious waterways, and as a result the state’s recreation and tourism industries, which account for hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity. Rep. LaFontaine’s resolutions strongly encourage complete hydrologic separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, call for a regional council to negotiate terms of such separation, and urge Congress and others to take preventative steps in the meantime.
“We have some very strong leadership in Congress on this issue from the Michigan delegation, and I am hoping my colleagues in the state Legislature will join with me in supporting this resolution to give Michigan one voice in Congress,” said Rep. LaFontaine.