Sen. Proos vows to continue fight against Asian carp

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Wednesday introduced a resolution supporting the recommendations of the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes.

“I have long supported all efforts to fight Asian carp, and I will continue to fight for action as long as they are threatening the Great Lakes,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “An Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes would forever change the way of life along Lake Michigan — and Southwest Michigan would be one of the first areas affected.

“If Asian carp were to get into the Great Lakes, the environmental and economic impacts would be permanent and devastating. It is a battle that we simply cannot afford to lose.”

The Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee was formed in May 2014 with the goal of reaching consensus on short- and long-term measures to prevent Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species from moving between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through the Chicago Area Waterway System.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 supports the committee’s recommendations to implement immediate control technologies at Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Illinois, and to further investigate the specific system of control points for long-term movement of aquatic invasive species into and out of the Great Lakes.

“Asian carp continue to migrate upstream and are now within a day’s swim of Lake Michigan. While electrical barriers stand in their way, it is unclear if those barriers will be effective at stopping small fish,” Proos said. “We need action to help prevent a disaster that would decimate our vibrant fishing, tourism and boating industries and wreak havoc on the ecosystems of the Great Lakes and all its inland lakes and rivers.”

SCR 7 states that the Chicago Area Waterway System serves as a pathway for aquatic invasive species to move between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. Invasive species already in the Great Lakes cost the region more than $100 million per year, and Asian carp could dramatically add to this cost.

“The consistent inaction by the federal government to protect the Great Lakes is reckless,” Proos said. “Once aquatic invasive species like Asian carp are established, it is nearly impossible to eradicate them — making the risk of leaving our lakes vulnerable to invasion unacceptable.”