Press Release

Illinois Must Act Now To Keep Invasive Carp out of the Great Lakes

June 11, 2024

Chicago, IL (June 11, 2024) – A diverse group of stakeholders from the conservation and environmental community, labor, and local government held a press conference today to discuss the invasive carp that are located less than 50 miles from Lake Michigan.

These ecosystem-destroying fish pose a severe threat to the economic health of the Great Lakes, specifically the region’s $7 billion commercial and sport fishing industry and its $16 billion recreational boating industry. For that reason, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified building additional structural measures at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois as the most feasible way to prevent the upstream migration of invasive carp.

The only remaining action required for Brandon Road project construction to begin is for the State of Illinois to sign the Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The PPA must be agreed to by June 30th so that the project construction can take advantage of a planned lock closure in the river at Lockport Lock near Brandon Road and move forward to construction later this year.

In the press conference, stakeholders encouraged Illinois Governor Pritzker to cement his legacy as a strong champion of the Great Lakes by signing an agreement with the federal government to advance the Brandon Road project. This important step would unlock millions of dollars in federal investments, allowing construction to begin in early 2025, bringing good-paying jobs to Illinois, and preventing invasive carp from harming the Great Lakes’ ecological vitality and blue economy.

“Local 150 urges the Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Illinois to sign the Project Partnership Agreement as soon as possible. We stand ready to support this endeavor, and we are eager to see it progress to construction, bringing with it jobs, environmental protection, and a stronger future for our region,” said Kristine Kavanagh, Communications Director at International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150.

“Governor Pritzker should be commended for his steadfast support of the Brandon Road Project to date, including his work with Governor Whitmer of Michigan to secure a combined $114 million in state funding for the project’s construction phase,” said Mayor Billy McKinney of Zion, Illinois, a former chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.

“By signing the Project Partnership Agreement by June 30, Governor Pritzker would be demonstrating both good stewardship of our freshwater resources and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars by avoiding any unnecessary cost increases,” Mayor McKinney added.

“We must stop the spread of destructive invasive carp before it is too late. By signing the PPA, Illinois Governor Pritzker has the opportunity to secure his legacy as not just a champion of the Great Lakes, but also a critical interstate partner with the state of Michigan,” said Jennifer Walling, Executive Director at the Illinois Environmental Council.


Contact: Don Carr, Media Director, Alliance for the Great Lakes,

More about Invasive Carp

Read more about the invasive carp approaching Lake Michigan and the Brandon Road project designed to stop them.

Read More