Senate approves legislation to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species
Thursday, December 15, 2011
LANSING― Comprehensive legislation to help protect Michigan from an ecological catastrophe that would cost the state and Northern Michigan families millions of dollars has been sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law, said Sen. John Moolenaar.
Senate Bills 508 – 510 would establish the Great Lakes Basin Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Advisory Council to determine how to best protect the state from continued invasions of aquatic invasive species.
“Protecting Michigan’s lakes and streams from invasive species is critical to the health of the Northern Michigan economy and way of life for sunrise coast residents,” said Moolenaar, R-Midland. “This council will be focused on ensuring that Michigan and our Great Lakes regional partners are taking all the steps possible to stop aquatic invasions.”
Under the legislation, the AIS council would work with the Department of Environmental Quality and the Office of the Great Lakes to update and implement the state’s existing AIS management plan. The measures would also require the council to review all existing state laws on aquatic invasive species and make recommendations for strengthening protections against further invasions.
“By working together with leaders from throughout the Great Lakes Basin, the council will be able to holistically address aquatic invasive species management,” Moolenaar said. “This council of experts from the Great Lakes region will draft a comprehensive blueprint on how to eradicate aquatic invasive species already here and prevent new invasions before they threaten our waters.
“That blueprint could include enacting regional policies to stop Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes and drafting a basin-wide ballast water permit that balances shipping and boating jobs with protecting our greatest natural resource.”
SBs 508 – 510 have been sent to Gov. Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign them into law.
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