House Passes Kelly-Sponsored Amendment to Water Bill to Stop Spread of Asian Carp

House Passes Kelly-Sponsored Amendment to Water Bill to Stop Spread of Asian Carp



WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) delivered remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives today in support of an amendment he offered with Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) to the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA) of 2013. The amendment, which was passed unanimously by a voice vote, establishes a multiagency effort to slow the spread of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries by providing technical assistance, coordination, best practices, and support to state and local governments in carrying out such activities. The House passed WRRDA this evening by 417-3 with Rep. Kelly’s support.

Rep. Kelly’s floor remarks:

“Our amendment is on the Asian carp. It’s a very invasive species that really has a devastating effect on the Upper Mississippi River and the Ohio River Basin. This is a fish that can grow to 70-100 pounds. It’s a voracious fish, highly invasive. It can potentially destroy a $7 billion commercial fishing … industry in the Great Lakes. It also would have a devastating effect on commercial boaters, recreational boaters, sportsmen.”

“The nature of this fish is incredible. Anytime the surface of the water is disturbed, it comes out of the water, leaps out of the water. I know that many of us do boating in the summertime and have little children in the boats with us. This is a fish that is so aggressive and so voracious it can eat sometimes up to 4 times its own weight. Now what does this fish do? It eats everything that other fish eat. If we allow this to come forward, it could be devastating.”

“This is a great example … this is a bipartisan effort, a collective effort, a collaborative effort, that allows both the states and the federal agencies to work together on a solution to a problem that has been in existence now and will continue be in existence until we stop it.”

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN):

“Asian carp have the ability to destroy ecosystems and devastate recreational areas. Local and state officials are trying to tackle Asian carp, but they can’t do it alone. This amendment directs federal agencies to work in partnership with city, state, and regional efforts to confront the spread of Asian carp.” 

Rep. Kelly on passage of WRRDA:

“Today’s legislation will secure the 13 million American jobs that depend on our nation’s ports and waterways. Its reforms will protect trade, promote growth, cut wasteful red tape, and save taxpayer dollars. This bill will make sure ports like those in Erie are dredged, so that the folks at Don Jon’s shipyard in Erie can keep doing their job. It will ensure that Presque Isle’s pristine beaches are protected, which will keep tourists coming and commerce flowing for generations to come. Three of Erie’s most important industries – tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture – are directly improved by this important bill.”