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Defending Our Great Lakes Act Would Promote Collaborative Water Quality and Flood Mitigation Projects


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced his support for new legislation to help keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The Defending Our Great Lakes Act would ensure that more water quality and flood mitigation projects are implemented as part of Asian carp prevention efforts by ensuring collaboration between the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force (IATF) – a collection of 11 U.S. Cabinet and federal agency heads, led by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – and state and local flood and water quality agencies. The legislation would also implement federal invasive species control measures at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, IL – which, due to its location south of the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), serves as the single entryway for any species moving upstream toward the Great Lakes.


“Asian carp threaten Lake Erie and the many Ohio industries that rely on it,” Brown said. “That’s why we need aggressive solutions to stop the influx of Asian carp and other invasive species. This bill would help protect Lake Erie’s ecosystems as well as Ohio’s economy. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of this important legislation.”


Brown continues to fight for flood mitigation efforts and the Great Lakes’ protection from invasive species like Asian Carp. This month, Brown and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) sent a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Engineers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) urging them to direct additional resources to dredging and maintenance of the Great Lakes.


Brown also cosponsored the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act (GLEEPA) this month, bipartisan legislation that would protect the Great Lakes – and the millions of jobs they support by formally authorizing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Last year, Brown helped secure more than $300 million in bipartisan Omnibus Bill funds for the GLRI. After the release of President Obama’s budget proposal which recommends a reduction in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) from $300 million to $250 million, Brown again highlighted the importance of the program.


In May 2014, Congress passed a critical water infrastructure bill that includes an amendment introduced by Brown that would help prevent the invasion of Asian carp into the Ohio and Upper Mississippi River Basins. In July 2014, Brown and more than a dozen Great Lakes senators sent a letter to John Goss, Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Asian Carp, expressing their continued commitment to practical, immediate solutions to the threat of Asian carp and other invasive species to the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin.

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