“Time is a luxury we don't have which is why this legislation to expedite the protection of the Great Lakes from this damaging invasive species is so important.”
Slaughter has repeatedly noted that once an invasive species such as Asian carp is allowed to take hold in any part of the Great Lakes system, it is only a matter of time until the species spreads to the rest of the lakes.
The bill is supported by the Great Lakes Commission, The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Healing our Waters Coalition, National Wildlife Federation and Trout Unlimited.
In January, Slaughter called on the Army Corps of Engineers to move quickly on a strategy to combat the threat of Asian carp armed with new information from a study analyzing various engineering options to separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins in the Chicago Area Waterway System to prevent inter-basin movement of harmful aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp.
In a November letter to House Appropriations Committee leaders, Slaughter advocated for federal funding to protect the lakes.
"The lakes provide invaluable recreational opportunities and support shipping, fishing, boating and tourism industries that generate 1.5 million jobs and $62 billion in wages. Restoring the Great Lakes advances our regional strategy to create jobs, stimulate economic development and invest in freshwater resources and waterfront communities," the letter said.