Bishop, Huizenga, Kaptur Lead Bipartisan Letter to President Calling for Urgent Action to Protect Great Lakes
WASHINGTON – Great Lakes State Congressmen Mike Bishop (MI-08) and Bill Huizenga (MI-02) sent a bipartisan letter with Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) and 22 additional members to President Trump today, calling for quick action in the fight against invasive species, including Asian Carp, in the Great Lakes. The Army Corps of Engineers was expected to release their plan to protect the Great Lakes Basin from invasive species on Feb. 28, 2017, but it was indefinitely delayed this week, less than 24 hours before its expected release.
“The Great Lakes play an invaluable role in our daily life here in Michigan and neighboring states. Our environment, tourism, fishing and regional economy depend on the health and well-being of these precious waterways – and all are in serious jeopardy if we do not take action against the Asian Carp and fellow invasive species,” said Congressman Bishop. “I urge the President to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately begin working with the states and local organizations on implementing a long-term strategy to protect and preserve the Great Lakes before potential damage is done.”
"In order to protect both the ecosystem and the economy of the Great Lakes, we must have complete, accurate, and reliable information from the Army Corps of Engineers," said Congressman Huizenga. "Delaying the release of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam evaluation does nothing to stop the threat Asian Carp and other invasive species pose to the largest freshwater ecosystem on the planet. By slow walking this important information, the federal government is jeopardizing the livelihood of hardworking families in Michigan and across the Great Lakes Basin. Time is of the essence."
“The Asian carp represent an enormous threat to our Lakes. More delays mean greater threats to the Great Lakes fishery. It's time for the Army Corps to report its findings so we may get on with the actions needed to protect the Lakes,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.
Members who joined the letter include Reps. David Joyce (OH-14), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Fred Upton (MI-06), Justin Amash (MI-03), Paul Mitchell (MI-10), Richard M. Nolan (MN-08), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Dave Trott (MI-11), John Mooelnaar (MI-04), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Sander M. Levin (MI-09), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Mike Kelly (PA-03), Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).
Text of the letter can be found here and below:
March 3, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
This letter is intended to address an urgent concern relative to the Great Lakes region.
As you know, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) first announced the Brandon Road Lock and Dam evaluation in April 2015 as part of the ongoing Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basin Study. This evaluation is intended to determine the possibility of establishing preventative measures against an invasion of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes.
The Corps initially announced that a draft of the Brandon Road report would be released on February 28, 2017. Just before midnight on February 27, however, the Corps announced the will delay this release until further notice.
The importance of protecting our vulnerable Great Lakes freshwater system from this voracious invasive species cannot be overstated. The release of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam evaluation is an essential next step in a process initiated to safeguard the economic viability of our region’s $7 billion sport fishing market, $16 billion boating industry, and $18 billion hunting and wildlife observation market. Asian Carp’s introduction into this system would have serious economic consequences for these and related industries across the entire Great Lakes region.
There is a consensus that the threat is real, and unfortunately, efforts to solve the problem are now mired in bureaucratic inaction. Further delay only increases the likelihood that this threat becomes a full scale, irreversible inundation of this highly destructive invasive species.
We respectfully request your personal assistance in directing the Corps to immediately engage with local and state governments, as well as fisheries and other interested groups, to implement a long-term solution for keeping Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes and reverse the decision to suspend the formulation of such plans.
The proposed infrastructure developments at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam is intended to prevent the immediate upstream transfer of Asian Carp, preserving our ecology and saving billions of dollars. United in this bipartisan cause, as representatives from Great Lakes States, we are committed to the defense against the Asian Carp invasion and the preservation of this precious natural resource.
Thank you for your timely review and thoughtful consideration, we look forward to a swift response.