U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, author of the Stop Invasive Species Act, today announced that a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant was awarded to the University of Michigan for the study of the harmful impacts that Asian carp could have on the Great Lakes. Stabenow's Stop Invasive Species Act helps combat the spread of Asian Carp and was signed into law by President Obama last month.
"The alarming discovery of Asian carp eDNA in Lake Erie showed just how urgently action is needed to stop these invasive fish from devastating our Great Lakes and the hundreds of thousands of Michigan jobs that depend on our lakes," said Stabenow. "The grant received by the University of Michigan is welcome news for the state. The Great Lakes are Michigan's greatest natural resource and we must do everything possible to protect them."
The grant comes in the wake of a May, 2012 complete shutdown of the electric barriers in the Chicago area waterway system. The barriers, meant to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, partially failed again in June.
The Stop Invasive Species Act, written by Sen. Stabenow and Congressman Dave Camp, and signed into law earlier this year by President Obama, requires the expedited creation of a plan to block Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes through a number of rivers and tributaries across the Great Lakes region. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to submit an expedited action plan to Congress with options for stopping Asian carp from penetrating the Great Lakes across 18 possible points of entry. The full plan would need to be completed within 18 months of the law's enactment, meaning the Corps would have to complete its work in 2013.
The University of Michigan will receive $294,048 in grant funding from NOAA.