Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Flickr icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Nolan Amendment Increases Funding for Aquatic Nuisance Control Program by 50 Percent

Jul 27, 2017
Press Release
Citing severe foot injuries among his own friends and family after swimming in zebra mussel infested Pelican Lake near Brainerd, Nolan drew his colleagues’ attention to the looming danger of invasive species. In Minnesota, zebra mussels are a significant health and safety hazard that threaten sport and commercial fishing, kill loons and other native wildlife, and damage Minnesota’s tourism industry.

The U.S. House of Representatives last night passed U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act to increase funding for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ Aquatic Nuisance Control Program by nearly 50%.

“Zebra mussels are killing Loons with deadly botulism – 10,000 by last count in Minnesota. They are swarming and killing off snails, clams and other native fish in our waters. And they’re harming outdoor recreation and causing injury people who walk on our beaches and swim in our lakes,” Nolan said. “And zebra mussels are just one of more than 150 invasive species around the country that must be dealt with.”

In 2014, Nolan passed an amendment to the Water Resources bill that added fish and other aquatic creatures to the official definition of “invasive species” – a definition that had previously included only plants. By doing so, the Congress gave the Army Corps the authority to research and eradicate zebra mussels, Big Head Carp, and other creatures that are causing damage to sport and commercial fishing, shipping and navigation, and dredging and harbor maintenance. The Aquatic Nuisance Control Program is supposed to be leading the way in those efforts; however, the program is severely under-funded.

Nolan’s amendment increases research and abatement funding to $1 million for FY2018.