Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has pledged $6 million to fight invasive species threatening our Great Lakes in his recent budget proposal.
“The Great Lakes are a jewel to this region and important to the economic welfare of Michigan. Combined, the boating and fishing industries have a $14 billion impact on Michigan’s economy,” commented Executive Director Nicki Polan of the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA). “The Great Lakes must be protected for future generations as well as for Michigan’s more than 4 million boaters and 9.9 million Michigan citizens who live, work and play on our five Great Lakes today.”
MBIA commends Governor Snyder for understanding the risks and for his leadership, pledging $6 million to be used at the state level. MBIA also asks for our Michigan legislators to immediately adopt this as part of the budget.
MBIA is also counting on our U.S. Congressional leaders, and the entire nation, to understand the significant negative impact Asian Carp will have to the entire Great Lakes Basin and the country, and to allow for full funding to permanently separate the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal from Lake Michigan — a key pathway for Asian carp. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has identified this would require $18 billion in funding by Congress. MBIA feels this is the only effective option, and hopes that all stakeholders understand that the investment is needed to stop far greater losses.
“Time is of the essence, we find ourselves in an extremely dire situation with the livelihood of our fisheries, waters, economy and way of life at risk,” said MBIA Board Chairman Jim Coburn. “We thank Governor Snyder for his commitment and call for action from the all stakeholders to support funding to stop invasive species. The cost of inaction would be devastating to the ecosystem and would change the economic and social dynamics of the Great Lakes.”