Press Release

July 7, 2009
Senator Bill Nelson set to testify on pythons in the Everglades;Senator Levin to share on affected species in the Great Lakes

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), and EPW’s Oversight Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), will hold a joint hearing Wednesday, July 8 at 10:00 AM to examine the threats of disease and invasive species on native wildlife, as well as oversight of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s administration of current programs to manage these threats.

The recent emergence of Burmese pythons in South Florida, snakehead fish in the Chesapeake Watershed, the Asian carp in the Great Lakes, and White Nose Syndrome in northeastern bat colonies motivated the subcommittees to examine new and persistent diseases and invasive species threatening the country’s native wildlife populations. Healthy wildlife populations are integral to the health of America’s natural ecosystems. Managing these threats continues to be one of the greatest challenges facing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge managers.

WHAT:                      EPW Water & Wildlife/Oversight Subcommittees Hearing

“Threats to Native Wildlife Species”

WHEN:                      Wednesday, July 8 at 10:00 AM ET

WHERE:                    EPW Hearing Room

SD-406 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC

WEBCAST:                Webcast will be available at starting at 10:00 AM ET

GUEST PARTICIPANTS/WITNESSES:    (Order subject to change)

·        U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) – Senator Levin will discuss current problems affecting native species in and around the Great Lakes

·        U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) – Senator Nelson will discuss the problem with pythons in the Everglades and throughout South Florida

·        Gary Frazer, Assistant Director for Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, United States Fish and Wildlife Service

·        Bill Clay, Acting Associate Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture

·        Dr. Gregory Ruiz, Senior Scientist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Marine Invasions Research Laboratory

·        Rebecca Humphries, Director, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

·        John Torgan, Narragansett Baykeeper, Save the Bay, Inc.

·        Jeffrey E. Hill, Assistant Professor, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida

Just a reminder:  If you would like us to save a seat for you, please let your Senate Press Gallery know, and send an email to to let us know if you’re coming.  Television producers should contact the Senate Radio and TV Gallery in advance if possible to ensure that we’re ready to accommodate you.