ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Jan. 19, 2022)—The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its work plan today for funds it received through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2022, which included $226 million for the Brandon Road Interbasin Project to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. This funding will cover the remaining costs of the preconstruction engineering and design phase and funding to begin construction of the lock and dam. This project will enhance the Brandon Road Lock and Dam by including a suite of smart technologies to block invasive carp while allowing navigation to continue at the lock, located about 50 miles south of Chicago.
“This is a historic investment in the effort to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes,” said Marc Smith, policy director for the National Wildlife Federation. “Invasive carp are a national problem requiring a national solution. Federal funding like this is critical to keep the Brandon Road project moving forward so that it can be completed before it’s too late. We thank President Biden, members of Congress, and the Great Lakes delegation for their support for this funding and working together on a bipartisan basis to protect the Great Lakes. Full federal funding for the total cost of construction will still be needed to ensure that once construction starts, it is not held up due to a lack of non-federal funds. This funding is a significant down payment on protecting the Great Lakes from invasive carp.”
Invasive carp include silver, bighead, grass, and black carp, which damage native freshwater ecosystems by displacing native and sport fish through rapid population growth and consuming food resources. If they establish a population in the Great Lakes, scientific modeling predicts they would have the food resources to spread throughout the Great Lakes and connected inland waters, damaging the estimated $7 billion annual sport fishery and associated tourism economies supported in the Great Lakes.
For more information on the national scope of efforts to stop invasive carp, read the blog “Blocking and Tackling to Stop Invasive Carp on a National Scale” from the Great Lakes Conservation Coalition.