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Aquatic Invasive Species Bills Pass Michigan Senate

October 7th, 2011 by MUCC Staff.

The Senate, today, passed a package of bills (Senate Bills 508, 509, 510) that would help the state take a more centralized and comprehensive approach to preventing and managing aquatic invasive species in Michigan.

The main premise of the bill is to create an Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Council that would advise the governor on a number of aquatic invasive challenges such as early detection and rapid response, control and eradication, prevention, monitoring, and sustainable funding methods. These are also priorities that MUCC has identified that need to be addressed to properly prevent and combat aquatic invasive species.

The sea lamprey is one aquatic invasive specie in the Great Lakes that costs millions of dollars per year just to control the spread. Once established, many invasive species are impossible to erradicate.

MUCC was supportive of the bills at their hearing in front of the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee [link], and MUCC’s Fisheries Committee also formally supported the passage of the bills. “It is vital to the health of the Great Lakes region to maintain an active role in controlling and/or eliminating invasive species to protect the future of our land and waters,” said MUCC Fisheries Committee Chair Jay Youngflesh.

MUCC would like to thank Sen. Howard Walker (Traverse City), Sen. Tom Casperson (Escanaba), and Sen. Geoff Hansen (Hart) for their sponsorship and hard work in getting these bills drafted and passed.

The bills will now be transferred to the House of Representatives where it was referred to the committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation.

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