Michigan governor seeks $6 million for invasive-species campaign

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder pledged $6 million to fight invasive species threatening the Great Lakes in his most recent budget proposal.

The Michigan Boating Industries Association commended Snyder and asked state legislators to immediately adopt the proposal as part of the state budget.

“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,” MBIA executive director Nicki Polan said in a statement. “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 is also asking federal legislators to allocate an additional $18 billion to permanently separate the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal from Lake Michigan, which the group says is a key pathway for Asian carp.

“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,” MBIA board chairman Jim Coburn said. “We thank Governor Snyder for his commitment and call for action from 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.”

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