Asian carp must be blocked

12-13-2011 // The Buffalo News Editorial

This excerpt is from a Buffalo News editorial

A vital effort to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes has been under way for years, and now legislation pending in Congress could go a long way toward protecting the lakes from this destructive fish.

The Stop Asian Carp legislation, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., calls on the Army Corps of Engineers to get moving on a study of ways to keep the invasive fish out of the Great Lakes.

New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have both signed on as co-sponsors of the Stop Asian Carp amendment to H. R. 2354, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2012. If the Stabenow amendment is dropped from the final version of the spending bill, always a possibility, similar legislation must be introduced as soon as possible.

The urgency is real. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers must speed up its study of the feasibility of various options for preventing the movement of invasive species between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Completion of that study is essential before a permanent barrier can be built.

The Army Corps, moving with typical bureaucratic sluggishness, has said it will not complete its study until 2015, despite the fact that the study was authorized in 2007.

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