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Federal Funds Coming to Keep Invasive Carp Out of Great Lakes

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Friday, January 21, 2022   

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes.

It is proposing using nearly $226 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam Project in Joliet.

Don Jodrey, director of federal relations for the Alliance for the Great Lakes, said carp crowd out native aquatic species, and have been moving up the Mississippi River system and into the Illinois River.

The project would modify the existing dam and locks to make it easier to detect invasive species.

"The Great Lakes have suffered over the years from invasive aquatic species, like zebra and quagga mussels and things like this," Jodrey explained. "The concern is, if the carp move into the Great Lakes system, that they're going to be detrimental to the fishing and recreational industries that are up there."

He added the Army Corps is testing relatively new technology, which could help other states tackle the problem of invasive species.

Fighting invasive species is not cheap. Jodrey pointed out the money is expected to cover the planning, engineering and design phases of the project, about $28 million, plus roughly $200 million for construction, which he noted could cost another $850 million.

"They're basically saying, as a matter of policy, that the administration supports the project," Jodrey stated. "It's a really important step, and it really tells us the project is going to get built."

For the remaining funding, the eight governors of the Great Lakes states have requested the project be included in the 2022 Water Resources Reform and Development Act.


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