WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the release of a new report today from the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative showing that hydrological separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River Basin is achievable, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today renewed his call to the Obama Administration to step up its efforts to prevent an invasion of Asian carp, including implementing a physical barrier between Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin where Asian carp currently reside.
“This report shows that hydrological separation is not only possible, but that a thorough study can be completed in a short timeframe. Hydrological separation would mean that the thousands of Ohioans that rely on Lake Erie could have peace of mind regarding an Asian carp invasion—an invasion that would be truly devastating for the lake’s native fish population and for our state’s economy,” Brown said. “Now is the time for the Army Corps of Engineers to speed up its own study on hydrological separation.”
Brown is a sponsor of the Stop Asian Carp Act, which would direct the Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate a study of the watersheds of the Illinois, Chicago, and Calumet rivers to determine the feasibility and best way to implement hydrologic separation of the rivers from the Great Lakes. The study would address flooding, wastewater, stormwater, and safety concerns. The study would also look at alternative pathways for barge and recreational boating traffic. The bill would also direct the USGS and the Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor and survey the waters of the Great Lakes basin to identify additional threats from Asian Carp, and to identify means of prevention.
In December 2010, the President signed the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act, which adds the bighead carp species of Asian carp to a list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped in the United States under the Lacey Act.
In May 2010, Brown visited the University of Toledo's Lake Erie Center to discuss efforts to combat Asian carp, and in December 2009, Brown signed a letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to address the spread of Asian Carp. He helped pass the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact, which establishes common stewardship goals for the Great Lakes and a common set of rules that will be followed by the eight Great Lakes states. He also fought to include more than $475 million in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget for Great Lakes cleanup, of which nearly $60 million has been devoted to initiatives aimed at preventing an influx of Asian carp.