Congress – on a bipartisan vote – has passed legislation that continues strong momentum to stop invasive carp from reaching Lake Michigan.
Invasive carp pose a serious threat to the Great Lakes. Silver and bighead carp have already wreaked havoc on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, out-competing native fish for food and injuring people who recreate on the rivers. The invasive fish are steadily spreading upstream toward Lake Michigan.
Prevention measures in design
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun designing a critical project to stop invasive carp from reaching Lake Michigan. The Corps is designing new carp prevention measures to install at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois, a chokepoint in waterways leading to Lake Michigan.
In the bill just passed, Congress increased the federal cost-share – which is how much the federal government will chip in for this critical project – to 90%. This commitment shows that Congress and the Administration recognize that the invasive carp moving toward Lake Michigan threaten the entire Great Lakes region.
By increasing the federal cost-share to 90%, Congress will help accelerate the project from design to construction.
Next steps for Illinois
The state of Illinois must take 2 important steps to keep this critical project moving forward:
- Illinois must sign an agreement with the Corps by the end of the year to keep the project on schedule.
- It’s time for Illinois to step up and work collaboratively with other Great Lakes states to fund the local portion of the construction phase of the project and keep invasive carp out of the lakes.
“Thank you to all the Great Lake advocates and members of Congress who are working to keep invasive carp out of our lakes,” says Molly Flanagan, Chief Operating Officer, Alliance for the Great Lakes. “We look forward to working with Illinois and other Great Lakes states to ensure the local share is funded.”