Today, Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act (H.R. 358). Five Members of Congress from Minnesota -- Representatives Michele Bachmann (MN-06), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Erik Paulsen (MN-03), Collin Peterson (MN-07), and Tim Walz (MN-01) -- also support H.R. 358. This bill helps state and local governments effectively reduce the spread of Asian carp in the United States.
Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Republican Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced counterpart legislation in the Senate.
"The growing spread of Asian Carp demands a coordinated, holistic response from the private sector, nonprofit organizations as well as federal, state, and local governments," said Congresswoman McCollum. "The Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act incorporates efforts from all participants so we can better protect our nation's watersheds from this invasive species."
"The threat of Asian Carp to Western Pennsylvania's waterways is significant and would have devastating effects on our economy and environment. We must act today to address the threats of tomorrow through an aggressive and collaborative strategy that involves the most effective and time-tested means to slow the spread and ultimately eradicate the Asian Carp," said Congressman Kelly.
"The spread of Asian carp is a real threat to our state. The Great Lakes region and the Ohio River basin are economic drivers shoring up Ohio's multi-million dollar fishing and recreation industries," Brown said. "While we focus on keeping the carp out of the Great Lakes in the Chicago region, we must also protect other pathways into the lakes. This bill will do just that," said Senator Brown.
H.R. 358 addresses the Asian Carp problem by placing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in charge of coordinating a new federal multi-agency effort that includes the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Army Corps of Engineers. Agencies will provide high-level technical assistance to support state and local governments that are working to protect economies and ecosystems in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins from Asian carp.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations Committee.
"Friends of Pool 2 would like to thank Congresswomen Betty McCollum and Congressman Mike Kelly for re-introducing the bipartisan bill Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act (H.R.358). We appreciate their leadership in the ongoing fight against the Asian Carp invasion. Friends of Pool 2 have been calling for federal involvement with this issue from our inception. This bill, if passed, offers affected states along the Mississippi River the federal leadership required to address the problem of invasive species with a unified voice. We feel this is the right answer for success in stopping the Asian Carp's advance up the Mississippi River towards pool 2." -- Kevin ChapdeLaine, President, Friends of Pool 2
"To preserve nature's balance, we must stop the spread of Asian Carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio river basins. Audubon supports strong federal leadership in developing a cooperative, multi-agency effort to help abate this threat and its impact on sensitive ecosystems." -- Chris Canfield, Vice President, National Audubon Society's Mississippi Flyway
"We applaud the leadership of Representatives McCollum and Kelly for introducing legislation that will coordinate federal efforts to protect our waterways from Asian Carp invaders. This is an important first step toward protecting Minnesota's proud outdoor recreation tradition, preserving our native fish populations, and national park sites including the Mississippi National River Recreation Area and St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, which are economic drivers for the region." -- Christine Goepfert, Upper Midwest Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association
"We commend Congresswoman McCollum and Congressman Kelly for their leadership in giving the USFWS the tools they need to combat this problem in a coordinated and strategic fashion. We must stop Asian carp now -- before they swim further into the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River Basins and cause irreparable harm. Delay could be severely problematic for walleye and trout -- as well as the millions of people who depend upon these water resources for their jobs and way of life." -- Marc Smith, Senior Policy Manager, National Wildlife Federation
"The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is grateful to Congresswoman McCollum and Congressman Kelly for their foresight in trying to get ahead of the Asian carp invasion front on the Ohio River. -- John Arway, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
"The spread of invasive species like Asian carp is a serious concern for anglers, and puts at risk the $42 billion recreational fishing economy. This bill is a smart way of getting out ahead of the problem in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins in order to stop the spread of harmful invasive species. Trout Unlimited thanks Rep. McCollum for her leadership to address this important issue and protect our aquatic ecosystems." -- Keith Curley, Director of Government Affairs, Trout Unlimited
"The Upper Mississippi Waterway Association supports Rep. McCollum's Asian carp legislation to equally protect inland river systems and the Great Lakes from further carp infestation. We also support her efforts to have the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lead a multiagency effort including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to slow the advance and ultimately eliminate this threat." -- Greg Genz, President, Upper Mississippi Waterway Association