WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) outlined his efforts to prevent the spread of Asian carp in the Ohio River basin during a news conference call today. Brown announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would help prevent the invasion of Asian carp in the Ohio River basin. The Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act would enable the federal government to have a more effective partnership with state and local entities that are working to slow the spread of Asian carp. U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is cosponsoring the legislation.
“The spread of Asian carp is a real threat to our state. The Great Lakes region and the Ohio River basin are economic drivers shoring up Ohio’s multi-million dollar fishing and recreation industries,” Brown said. “While we focus on keeping the carp out of the Great Lakes in the Chicago region, we must also protect other pathways into the lakes. My bill will do just that.”
Although several federal agencies have been working to combat Asian carp, none have been designated as the lead agency to coordinate the federal response with state and local partners in the Ohio and Upper Mississippi River Basins. The Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act places the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in charge of coordinating a new federal multi-agency effort that includes the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Army Corps of Engineers. These agencies would provide high-level technical assistance, coordination, best practices, and other means of support to state and local governments that are working to protect economies and ecosystems in the Ohio River basin from Asian carp.
Sen. Brown has worked diligently with members of both parties on legislative efforts to stop Asian carp from destroying the Great Lakes' ecosystem. In June 2012, he helped to pass the Stop Invasive Species Act, which requires the expedited creation of a plan to block Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes through a number of rivers and tributaries across the Great Lakes region.