On February 5, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Michigan) introduced H.R. 4001, the Defending Against Aquatic Invasive Species Act, to authorize swift preventive action to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, where no action has yet been scheduled. H.R. 4001 has four co-sponsors.
At an estimated cost of $16 billion, Rep. Miller's bill would authorize the Corps to completely seal the boundary between the Illinois River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal by building a barrier to keep the invasive carp out. Miller maintains it's the most foolproof way of stopping advancement of this destructive species.
Since the 1970s, our nation has been working to stop Asian carp from migrating up the Mississippi River watershed. MRAA has previously sought protection against carp migration by asking the Corps to install electronic barriers at the northern end of the Illinois River and along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (to date, three have been built); promoting fish processing plants to prepare for exportation of Asian carp (two have been built on the Illinois River); promoting fishing tournaments aimed at catching Asian carp; and authorizing a study examining how to further curtail the advancement of Asian carp form the Great Lakes. Today, the canal is the only link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.
MRAA is working with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) to develop a position on the bill.