Bradley Schneider

02/08/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/08/2018 10:42

Schneider, Huizenga Lead Bipartisan Letter to Protect Great Lakes from Asian Carp

Today, U.S. Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Bill Huizenga (R-MI) led a group of 24 bipartisan colleagues urging a prompt and on-time completion of the Brandon Road Study, a critical milestone for a project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to prevent invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

'I'm proud to represent the largest stretch of Lake Michigan in Illinois, and the Great Lakes form an integral part of our local economy, environment, and quality of life,' said Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL). 'We have seen up close the damage wreaked by invasive species such as zebra mussels, and it's crucial we prevent Asian carp from reaching our lakes. Upgrading the dam and lock system at the Brandon Road site represents our best opportunity to stop the destructive spread of Asian carp. I urge the Appropriations Committee to consider our bipartisan request and include language keeping this project on track.'

'It is my hope the Army Corps of Engineers is making significant progress on finalizing the Brandon Road Study,' said Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. 'At a minimum, the Corps must meet its stated deadline of completing and releasing the Chief's Report by February 2019. Given the gravity of the situation, I hope the Corps will present its findings even sooner than anticipated. It is widely accepted that if Asian carp are able to enter the Great Lakes, it will be nearly impossible to repair the damage done to the ecosystem as well as the economy. Time is of the essence and we cannot afford any further delays.'

The letter is addressed to Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelighuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), as well as Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Ranking Member Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

'I applaud this bipartisan effort to prioritize protecting the Great Lakes from Asian carp,' said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), one of the recipients of the letter and Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. 'Our coalition to protect the Lakes and address our many shared challenges grows stronger by the day. I commend my colleagues on their letter, and I will make sure it receives attention on the Appropriations Committee.'

It urges the Committee to include language in any Fiscal Year 2018 federal funding agreement to direct the USACE to complete and release the Chief's Report Milestone by February 2019.

The letter is available online here.

The letter was signed by Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Mike Bishop (R-MI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Brian Higgins (D-NY), David P. Joyce (R-OH), Daniel T. Kildee (D-MI), Robert E. Latta (R-OH), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Sander M. Levin (D-MI), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Richard M. Nolan (D-MN), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jim Renacci (R-OH), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Elise M. Stefanik (R-NY), David A. Trott (R-MI), Fred Upton (R-MI), Tim Walberg (R-MI), and Timothy J. Walz (D-MN).