WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following unanimous Senate passage of the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act this week, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called on the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately take up this critical bill.
“Lake Erie is a national treasure and an irreplaceable resource for millions of Ohioans who rely on it for jobs, drinking water, fishing, and boating. Asian carp continues to pose a threat to this jewel of the Great Lakes and one of the most important fresh water fisheries in the world,” Brown said. “This week, with the unanimous passage of the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act, the Senate moved to protect our Great Lakes from Asian carp, and the House of Representatives should follow suit by passing this bill. We must also continue to do more to prevent Asian carp from migrating to the Great Lakes, by passing the CARP Act and working with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that this invasive species is kept out of Lake Erie and the rest of the Great Lakes.”
The Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (S. 1421) would add 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.