WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act. Following Senate passage of the bill two weeks ago, Brown called on the House to follow suit as soon as possible. The legislation will now go to the President for his signature.

 “This legislation is a step in the right direction, but we can’t lose focus on our top priority: keeping the Asian carp out of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes,” Brown said. “An Asian carp invasion in Lake Erie would seriously threaten the livelihood of millions of Ohioans that rely on the lake for fishing and boating, and this issue is just too important to allow it to fall by the wayside. That’s why the Senate and the House should move next to pass the CARP Act and remove the Asian carp threat from the Great Lakes for good.”

The Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (S. 1421) 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.

Asian carp is an invasive species that would threaten the ecosystem of Lake Erie. Researchers have found that in many sections of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, Asian carp are the only species present. More than 185 species of fish, mussels, and plants from Asia and Eastern Europe are already in the Great Lakes system, choking out native species.

Brown is fighting to pass the CARP Act, legislation aimed at preventing the potential migration of Asian carp from the Mississippi River into the Great Lakes. In May, 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.