House Passes Nolan Amendment Adding $1 Million to Battle Zebra Mussels and Other Invasive Species
[WASHINGTON D.C.] The U.S. House of Representatives today passed Congressman Rick Nolan’s bipartisan amendment adding $1 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Aquatic Nuisance Control Program. The measure doubles the funds available for the program to $2 million for 2019.
“The Aquatic Nuisance Control Program is supposed to be leading the way with cutting–edge research - but it’s terribly under-funded,” Nolan said. “And as a result, aquatic invaders like zebra mussels have infested more than 130 bodies of water in my state of Minnesota alone and thousands of others around country. To give you an idea of how fast these creatures spread, one female zebra mussel can produce half a million offspring every year. They have already killed over 10,000 loons in the Great Lakes due to botulism.”
Nolan added, “Invasive species are swarming and choking snails, clams and other native fish in our waters. They are harming outdoor recreation and causing injury to people who walk on our beaches and swim in our lakes. And they are costing us thousands of good paying jobs by delaying shipments while they are painstakingly removed from the thousand-ton Laker ships carrying billions of dollars worth of Minnesota iron ore and other exports so vital to our maritime shipping and national economy. And zebra mussels are just one of the thousands of invasive species around the country that must be dealt with.”
Nolan’s amendment to the 2014 Water Resources Development Act added fish and other aquatic creatures to the official definition of “invasive species” – a definition that had previously included only plants. With that landmark measure, Nolan paved the way for the Aquatic Nuisance Control Program and gave the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the authority to research and eradicate Asian Carp, Zebra Mussels, Catfish and other creatures that are causing so much damage to sport and commercial fishing, shipping and navigation, dredging, and harbor maintenance.
Watch Nolan’s remarks HERE.