U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and U.S. Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) today announced the Senate introduction of the CARP ACT ( Close All Routes and Prevent Asian Carp Today). The bill would direct the Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate action to prevent the potential entry of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes. Recent samples of Asian Carp environmental DNA have demonstrated the invasive species' progress toward the Great Lakes through the Mississippi River. Congressman Camp introduced the CARP ACT yesterday in the House.
"Asian Carp are a very serious threat to our state and must be stopped from entering the Great Lakes," said Stabenow. "This invasive species will not only harm our ecosystem it will also hurt our economy, costing us thousands of jobs. The CARP ACT will close off Great Lakes access to Asian Carp and expedite important emergency measures. I want to thank Congressman Camp for his work on this important issue and for introducing this bill in the House."
"It is absolutely necessary for us to preventing Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes," said Congressman Camp. "This legislation will ensure the Great Lakes are protected and should satisfy any concerns about any impacts on commerce or flood control in Chicago. This is a sensible approach and one that should be acted on immediately. I want to thank Senator Stabenow for her work on this issue and for introducing this bill in the Senate. I look forward to working with her and every member from the Great Lakes region to protect this critical natural resource."
Details of the CARP ACT include:
Immediate closure of certain Chicago-area locks: Directs the Army Corps of Engineers to close the O'Brien Lock and Dam and the Chicago Controlling Works until a controlled lock operations strategy is developed.
Immediate installation of interim barriers : Directs the Army Corps of Engineers to install barriers in the North Shore Channel and the Grand and Little Calumet Rivers to prevent the migration of bighead and silver carps into Lake Michigan, as well as between the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) and between the Illinois & Michigan (I&M) Canal and the CSSC to prevent carp from entering the Canal during a flood event.
Enhancement of existing barriers and monitoring systems: Includes granting authority to the Army Corps of Engineers to acquire all real estate interests necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the barrier system.
Mitigating the impact on commerce and the City of Chicago: Instructs the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct two studies: one to develop a strategy to mitigate the effects of this bill on existing commerce in the canals and rivers, and one to abate the effects on Chicago flood control.
Preventing and eradicating Asian Carp: Grants the Army Corps of Engineers new authority to eliminate and prevent the spread of Asian Carp through the use of fish toxicant, commercial fishing and netting, harvesting, and other means necessary.