Category Archives: Great Lakes

Senator Proos Blasts White House Inaction on Asian Carp

State Senator John Proos is putting the blame for the discovery of environmental DNA from invasive silver carp in the Kalamazoo River squarely on the shoulders of the Obama administration. The St. Joseph Republican says there has been “consistent inaction” by the White House that has resulted in the species of Asian carp to “inch closer to destroying our vital Southwest Michigan waterways.”

Proos joins Congressman Fred Upton in noting the carp, if they were to get established in the Great Lakes, threaten a $4 billion fishing and tourism industry. He adds he’s continuing to push for the closure of the Chicago locks to separate that city’s water system from Lake Michigan in order to prevent the invasive fish from getting in. Continue reading

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Announcing my Bid for Re-Election to the State Senate in Michigan’s Great Southwest

Earlier today I announced my candidacy for the 21st Michigan State Senate seat in Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties. Continue reading

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Swim With Caution; Proper Water Safety Could Save Your Life

Swimming is a fun, healthy activity, and our state has an abundance of swimming opportunities with more than 11,000 inland lakes, more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and a countless number of pools.

But with these opportunities come a certain amount of risk. If you head out to the water this summer, please take the necessary precautions to make it a safe trip, including taking swimming lessons, following safety guidelines and looking out for powerful rip currents.
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Legislation to Help Keep Beaches, Lakes Cleaner

Lakeshore property owners will have more freedom to properly maintain their beaches under legislation expected to be signed soon by the governor, said Sen. John Proos.

“Southwest Michigan is blessed with miles of beautiful sandy beaches that attract millions of visitors and are key to a tourist industry that supports thousands of families and local small businesses,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Removing costly government interference – that only inhibits the maintenance of our beaches – is a victory for everyone. It will enhance private property rights and result in beaches that are cleaner and safer for families and tourists to enjoy.”

Low water levels in 1999 exposed many Great Lakes beaches, which were quickly overrun with invasive plants and other weeds. State policy at the time was to prevent landowners from grooming their beaches to remove plants or prevent them from growing without a permit.

Senate Bill 1052 would eliminate certain Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) restrictions about how beach maintenance can be done. Property owners with sandy beaches would no longer need to get a permit from the DEQ for beach grooming activities, although some activities may still be subject to federal regulation.

“Allowing landowners to maintain their beaches will help increase outdoor activities and protect a vibrant tourism industry,” Proos said. “I supported this common-sense reform because it also achieves a balance between recreation and conservation. Eliminating unnecessary restrictions on property owners will enable them to keep their beaches sandy and open for use while enlisting their aid in stopping invasive species from taking hold in Michigan.”

Under SB 1052, owners of sandy beaches would not need a DEQ permit to remove vegetation and debris on the section of their beaches between the normal high-water mark and the water’s edge. Construction projects and digging of channels or dredging below the ordinary high-water mark would still be subject to a state permit.

“This will not affect a beachgoer’s ability to walk along the beach between the high-water line and the water’s edge,” Proos said. “In fact, it will improve that freedom by allowing landowners to maintain and clean that area of the beach.”
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Federal Inaction Puts Great Lakes at Risk

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling and continued inaction by the Obama Administration to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes are endangering the lakes.

Asian carp currently are at the threshold of Lake Michigan. If allowed to invade the Great Lakes, they will surely continue to our inland lakes and streams and their impact will be permanent and catastrophic.
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Have a Fun, Safe Time on the Water this Independence Day Weekend

If you head out to the water this Independence Day weekend, please take necessary precautions to make it a safe trip.  Michigan’s lakes are some of our greatest treasures, but they also pose one of our greatest dangers.  Although the … Continue reading

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Discover Michigan’s Natural Beauty

Springtime in Michigan is finally here. After a long winter, the flowers are in bloom, the days are warm and the nights are cool. Continue reading

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