House Hearing on Asian Carp, Great Lakes

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on Asian carp and the Great Lakes. In his statement, Representative James Oberstar (D-MN) discussed the threat posed by the Asian carp to the Great Lakes ecosystem. Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), testified concerning EPA’s role in the process and the draft Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. MGEN John Peabody, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), testified concerning USACE’s efforts to date and its plans for upcoming efforts to stop the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes via the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal. Mr. Marc Miller, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, testified concerning actions that the State of Illinois intends to take to reduce the possibility that Asian carp will invade the Great Lakes. Rebecca Humphries, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, testified concerning the potential impact on Great Lakes fisheries if the Asian carp enter the Lakes. Matt Frank, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, outlined a multi-prong strategy to deter the further spread of the Asian carp, including proposed measures for the Wisconsin portion of the Mississippi River. Professor David Lodge, University of Notre Dame, explained scientific issues related to the Asian carp problem. Dr. Michael Hansen, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, discussed the potential threat posed by the Asian carp and lessons learned from the sea lamprey invasion. Del Wilkins, American Waterways Operators (AWO), testified concerning the economic impact that would result if the navigational link between the Great Lakes and the Illinois River were to be severed. Joel Brammeier, Alliance for the Great Lakes, testified that a permanent ecological separation between the Illinois River and the Great Lakes is the only sure way to prevent the Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. (2/9/10).

In other news, Representative Hoekstra (R-MI) introduced the Asian Carp Action Plan Act of 2010 (H.R. 4604) to direct the Secretary of the Army to prevent the spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes and the tributaries of the Great Lakes, and for other purposes. (2/4/10).

Additionally, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the draft Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. This plan lays out a multi-prong approach to controlling the Asian carp problem. (2/8/10).

(Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)

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