DEFENDING OUR GREAT LAKES ACT OF 2015
(Extensions of Remarks - February 26, 2015)

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[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 33 (Thursday, February 26, 2015)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E260-E261]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                 DEFENDING OUR GREAT LAKES ACT OF 2015

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. CANDICE S. MILLER

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 26, 2015

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to come from the 
State of Michigan, the Great Lakes State. In Michigan, our very 
identity is defined by the Great Lakes. For so many of us from 
Michigan, our lives revolve

[[Page E261]]

around the Lakes. Whether it is tourism, agriculture, shipping, 
fishing, or recreational boating, the Lakes are vital to our very 
livelihood.
  The Great Lakes face many challenges these days, but there is nothing 
more threatening to the health of the Lakes than the infiltration of 
Asian carp--an invasive species that are about 40 miles from our 
doorstep.
  For this reason, today I introduced the Defending Our Great Lakes Act 
of 2015. This is a bill that will prevent the spread of Asian carp once 
and for all.
  This bill does three things: First, it authorizes the Army Corps of 
Engineers to take immediate action to update the infrastructure and 
install necessary technologies and measures at the Brandon Road Lock 
and Dam site. Second, it requires the Army Corps to develop a long-term 
plan, in consultation with federal agencies as well as the Great Lake 
states and impacted business and environmental communities. Finally, 
this bill reaffirms the need to continue to examine the ongoing needs 
across the entire Great Lakes region for measures that protect our 
waterways from invasive species.
  The Defending Our Great Lakes Act, by design, provides a broad 
authorization for the Army Corps, and it authorizes the use of the best 
technologies, including, but not limited to, electric barriers. The 
importance of this broad authorization is that it will allow them to 
use new, yet-to-be-developed technologies going forward.
  It is important to note that this bill also instructs the Army Corps 
to consider the protection of the area's ecosystem to the greatest 
extent feasible so that no native populations are inadvertently harmed 
as we attempt to remove the threat of invasive species. Additionally, 
this bill also instructs the Army Corps to ensure the efficient flow of 
navigation so that there is no unnecessary impediment to commerce. 
Including these provisions further demonstrates the dynamic nature of 
the Great Lakes and how we must work with all interested stakeholders 
to accomplish the goal of preventing Asian carp from entering the Great 
Lakes basin.
  This bill was introduced with a broad bipartisan cross section of 
members from across the Great Lakes basin and in partnership with 
Senator Debbie Stabenow who will introduce companion legislation in the 
Senate.
  In the many years I have been so honored to serve in Congress, the 
protection of our magnificent Great Lakes has been one of my primary 
advocacies.
  I remember well battling the scourge of invasive species like zebra 
mussels, the sea lamprey, Eurasian Milfoil and phragmites.
  All of these invasive species have taken an ecological and economic 
toll on our Great Lakes, and we have spent billions over the past two 
decades trying to mitigate their damage.
  With Asian carp, however, we cannot afford to respond to the untold 
damage they are certain to have on our Lakes.
  They represent the most grave threat we have faced, and they must be 
dealt with using preventative, proactive measures.
  The Asian carp threaten our $17 billion tourism industry and our $7 
billion fishing and recreation industry.
  They threaten our very way of life, and potentially billions of 
dollars every year to our regional economy. We simply cannot turn our 
backs on this threat.
  I encourage all of my colleagues to support the Defending Our Great 
Lakes Act and help ensure the long-term health and beauty of our 
precious Great Lakes. The Lakes are vital to our identity and 
livelihood.

                          ____________________