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Sen. Franken Continues Fight to Prevent Invasion of Asian Carp in Minnesota Waterways

Senator Backs New Measure to Halt Threat to State's Fishing, Boating Industries

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sen. Al Franken is backing a new bipartisan effort create a coordinatoed federal response to help prevent the spread of Asian Carp.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is backing a new bipartisan effort to help prevent the spread of Asian Carp that threatens the ecosystems of waterways in Minnesota and across the country.

Sen. Franken is a cosponsor of the Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act, that would create a coordinated federal response to the Asian Carp threat, and enable the federal government to work more effectively with state and local entities in the fight to end the spread of the invasive species in waterways around the country.

"The spread of Asian Carp in Minnesota's waterways would prove disastrous for Minnesota's fishing and boating industries, which depend on the health of the state's waterways and contribute billions of dollars to our economy," said Franken. "I am pressing this legislation because it will ensure a definitive plan to control and prevent Asian carp from entering streams and rivers in our state."

Although several federal agencies have been working to combat Asian carp, none have been designated as the lead agency to coordinate the federal response with state and local partners in the Ohio and Upper Mississippi River Basins.

Under the bill, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will coordinate a new federal multi-agency effort that includes the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Army Corps of Engineers. These agencies would provide high-level technical assistance, coordination, best practices, and other means of support to state and local governments that are working to protect economies and ecosystems in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basin from Asian carp.

Sen. Franken has worked diligently with members of both parties on legislative efforts to stop Asian carp from destroying the Great Lakes' ecosystem. In June 2012, he helped to pass the Stop Invasive Species Act, which requires the expedited creation of a plan to block Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes through a number of rivers and tributaries across the Great Lakes region.

Earlier this year, Sen. Franken joined top federal and state officials who oversee the health of Minnesota waterways on a boat tour of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers to see firsthand the challenges in fighting the spread of invasive species.

The Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act is sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

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