Joyce Introduces the Aquatic Invasive Species Control Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) introduced the Aquatic Invasive Species Control Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill would amend existing control of aquatic plant growths and invasive species law by extending the authorization from fiscal year 24 to fiscal year 28 and increase the authorized invasive species partnerships funding level from $50 million to $75 million. It would also add hydrilla to the list of prioritized control or eradication projects and explicitly includes the Lake Erie Basin and Ohio River Basin as listed areas under the invasive species partnerships section.
“As a life-long Ohioan who grew up on the shores of Lake Erie, I’m committed to preserving the Great Lakes and all they provide, both economically and environmentally, for our communities,” said Joyce. “This bill will ensure that Ohio can better control, manage, and inspect invasive aquatic plants that threaten Lake Erie’s fish and wildlife. I’m hopeful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support this legislation so that we can continue to prioritize the health and productivity of the Great Lakes.”
Hydrilla forms dense mats that destroy fish and wildlife habitat. It has several competitive advantages over other plants, including the fact that it can grow with less light, is more efficient at taking up nutrients than native aquatic plant species, and is extremely effective at reproducing. Hydrilla is documented in each of the major watersheds in this region with a high risk of spread into Lake Erie.