President's Message

Historic Win for the Great Lakes: Invasive Carp Barrier Gets Final OK

July 1, 2024

Joel Brammeier headshot.
Joel Brammeier, ​President & CEO

I write today with big news. For more than a decade, we’ve been working with scientists, advocates, federal agencies, and elected officials to prevent invasive carp in the Mississippi River from entering Lake Michigan. I’m thrilled to let you know that the Brandon Road project – a series of barriers on the Des Plaines River to stop silver and bighead carp from reaching the Great Lakes – is now set to begin construction. This couldn’t have happened without you.

As of today, the state of Illinois and the state of Michigan signed a final project agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get shovels in the ground as soon as January.

This project is a decade in the making and is a major priority for the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Invasive 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. By using a series of measures designed to stop the carp, the Brandon Road project will act as the choke point to stop them from reaching Lake Michigan. The fish threaten the economic health of the Great Lakes’ $7 billion commercial and sport fishing industry, its $16 billion recreational boating industry, and the entire Great Lakes ecosystem.

This historic agreement wouldn’t have happened without you. Thank you for advocating for the lakes, contacting your elected officials, supporting us with your donations, and being a part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Together, we’ve been leading efforts to stop invasive carp for more than a decade. We released a groundbreaking report, advocated before Congress, negotiated with industry and elected officials, informed feasibility studies, helped secure federal and state funding, and more. Through it all, we kept up the pressure.

I’d also like to thank Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer as well as U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Debbie Stabenow and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their leadership to make this project happen and ensure the Great Lakes are protected.

I hope you’ll join me in taking a moment to celebrate this historic win for the lakes.

Tell Congress: Keep Up the Momentum to Stop Invasive Carp

Invasive carp pose a serious threat to our Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is ready to start building a critical project to prevent them from reaching Lake Michigan.

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