IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 12, 2019
Mr. Peters (for himself, Mr. Portman, Ms. Stabenow, and Ms. Duckworth) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To authorize the Director of the United States Geological Survey to conduct monitoring, assessment, science, and research, in support of the binational fisheries within the Great Lakes Basin.
This Act may be cited as the
Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization Act.
Great Lakes monitoring, assessment, science, and research
In this section:
The term Director means the Director of the United States Geological Survey.
Great Lakes Basin
The term Great Lakes Basin means the air, land, water, and living organisms in the United States within the drainage basin of the Saint Lawrence River at and upstream from the point at which such river and the Great Lakes become the international boundary between Canada and the United States.
Congress finds the following:
The Great Lakes support a diverse ecosystem, on which the vibrant and economically valuable Great Lakes fisheries depend.
To continue successful fisheries management and coordination, as has occurred since signing of the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between the United States and Canada on September 10, 1954, management of the ecosystem and its fisheries require sound, reliable science, and the use of modern scientific technologies.
Fisheries research is necessary to support multi-jurisdictional fishery management decisions and actions regarding recreational and sport fishing, commercial fisheries, tribal harvest, allocation decisions, and fish stocking activities.
President Richard Nixon submitted, and the Congress approved, Reorganization Plan No. 4 (84 Stat. 2090), conferring science activities and management of marine fisheries to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Reorganization Plan No. 4 expressly excluded fishery research activities within the Great Lakes from the transfer, retaining management and scientific research duties within the already established jurisdictions under the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, including those of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Department of the Interior.
Monitoring, assessment, science, and research
The Director may conduct monitoring, assessment, science, and research, in support of the binational fisheries within the Great Lakes Basin.
The Director shall, under paragraph (1)—
execute a comprehensive, multi-lake, freshwater fisheries science program;
coordinate with and work cooperatively with regional, State, Tribal, and local governments; and
consult with other interested entities, including academia and relevant Canadian agencies.
To properly serve the needs of fisheries managers, monitoring, assessment, science, and research under this section may include—
deepwater ecosystem sciences;
biological and food-web components;
fish movement and behavior investigations;
fish population structures;
fish habitat investigations;
invasive species science;
use of existing, new, and experimental biological assessment tools, equipment, vessels, other scientific instrumentation and laboratory capabilities necessary to support fishery management decisions; and
studies to assess impacts on Great Lakes Fishery resources.
Nothing in this section is intended or shall be construed to impede, supersede, or alter the authority of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, States, and Indian tribes under the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between the United States of America and Canada on September 10, 1954, and the Great Lakes Fishery Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 931 et seq.).
Authorization of appropriations
For each of fiscal years 2020 through 2024, there is authorized to be appropriated $17,500,000 to carry out this section.