It is a big week for the Great Lakes, not only are HOW members flying into Washington today to encourage lawmakers to continue to support restoration, but the Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday morning. THIS IS BEING RESCHEDULED NEW TIME TBA.
The Senate EPW Committee will be investigating the science behind federal efforts to control the Asian carp and stop them from getting a foothold in the Great Lakes. NY Sen. Kirsten Gilligbrand is a member of the EPW and she has been pushing for the closure of the locks via a new piece of legislation called the Close All Routes and Prevent Asian Carp Act of 2010. The bill, if approved, would require the Secretary of the Army to temporarily close the O’Brien and Chicago Locks while a permanent management strategy is sought.
“The Asian Carp pose a traumatic and long term threat to the Great Lakes and the enormous economic benefit the Lakes provide to New York and the nation,” Senator Gillibrand told a blogger at the Times Union of Albany. “The Lakes help drive our economy, draw tourism, offer endless recreation and provide drinking water for millions of families. The Asian Carp could potentially destroy all of that, disrupting the food chain and disturbing the natural ecosystem permanently. We need to take aggressive action now to stop the spread of Asian Carp and establish a long-term solution that will keep New York’s waterways and natural habitats free from invasive species.”
New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo joined the now seven-state legal effort to get the US Supreme Court to close the locks and create a permanent separation between the basins.
The hearing is Thursday, Feb. 25, at 10:30 a.m. in 406 Dirksen.