Press Release

Historic Agreement Signed to Keep Invasive Carp Out of the Great Lakes

July 1, 2024

Chicago, IL (July 1, 2024) – Today, a coalition of environmental, conservation, and advocacy groups celebrated the announcement that Illinois Governor Pritzker, Michigan Governor Whitmer and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) signed a historic Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) to begin construction on the Brandon Road Project to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes.

The thousands of businesses that rely on the Great Lakes for their livelihoods owe Governor Pritzker and Governor Whitmer, and their staff, a debt of gratitude for this historic agreement. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) also tirelessly worked to ensure the Brandon Road project moved forward and that the Great Lakes are protected. Appreciation for the agreement should also be shared with the Army Corp for shepherding the project through the planning and design stage, and the Biden Administration for providing significant funding for the first phase of construction through the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act.

Advocates, some of whom have been pushing for the project since the early 2000s, hailed the milestone agreement to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes.

“By signing the agreement, Governor Pritzker and Governor Witmer cemented their legacies as strong defenders of the Great Lakes. Invasive carp are poised to wreak havoc on Lake Michigan, and because of their actions, we now have the chance to stop them at Brandon Road,” said Molly Flanagan, Alliance for the Great Lakes Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Programs.

“The signing of the Brandon Road Project Agreement is historic and will help protect our fishery, our economy and quality of life.” said Marc Smith, policy director with National Wildlife Federation. “Keeping invasive carp out of the Great Lakes is a national priority. We applaud Illinois Governor Pritzker for his leadership in working with Michigan Governor Whitmer, all the Great Lakes states, the U.S. Congress and the Biden Administration in finalizing this project.”

“The signing of this agreement to advance the Brandon Road Project marks a proud and historic day for Great Lakes communities,” said Mayor Leon Rockingham, Jr., Mayor of the City of North Chicago, IL and member of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. “I commend Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for leading the charge against the threat of invasive carp, securing the best possible financial arrangement for the State of Illinois, and protecting the blue economy on which our shoreline communities depend.”

“We commend Governors Pritzker and Whitmer for working together and with federal partners to advance the Brandon Road project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes and thereby avoid a potential ecological and economic disaster,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director at the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

“We applaud Governor Pritzker and the State of Illinois for reaching this critical agreement with the State of Michigan to protect our priceless shared asset, Lake Michigan,” said Jack Darin, Director of the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter. “This agreement starts work on a major defense for Lake Michigan against invasive species, and we urge all parties to move as quickly as possible to protect our precious Great Lakes.”

“We are grateful to Governor Pritzker for continuing to exercise environmental leadership in prioritizing the long-term health and vitality of our most critical ecosystems and economic drivers like Lake Michigan,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “Together, we can protect the future of our Great Lakes for generations to come.”


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.

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