Lindsey Bacigal, BacigalL@nwf.org, (734) 887-7113
Jordan Lubetkin, Lubetkin@nwf.org, (734) 904-1589
Coalition Urges Feds to Fully Fund Invasive Carp Defenses
ANN ARBOR, MICH. (February 8, 2022)—The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is urging U.S. representatives to fully fund controls to prevent invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes and causing environmental and economic harm. In a letter to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment and the broader House delegation in the eight-state region, the Coalition and 54 members urged the House delegation to fully fund a new lock and dam in Illinois that would deploy state-of-the-art technology to keep the invasive fish from entering Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes.
“Invasive carp pose a clear and present danger to the Great Lakes environment and economy,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “These invasive fish are not the problem or responsibility of only one state. Invasive carp are a national problem. As we have seen over the last decade, invasive carp have wreaked havoc up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers—upending the ecosystem and harming people and local economies along the way. We need the federal government to address this national problem so that we don’t allow the unthinkable—allowing invasive carp to take hold in the Great Lakes.”
Currently the state of Illinois would be responsible for paying 20 percent of the cost of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam and its array of technology to keep invasive carp from getting through. The Coalition and its members argue that due to the national threat posed by the invasive fish and the pressing need to move forward without delay, the federal government should assume the costs of the entire project, which are expected to be upwards of $800 million.
The environmental groups are urging for the cost-share change in the 2022 Water Resources Development Act, a bi-annual funding bill that funds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water infrastructure projects.
Since 2004, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has been harnessing the collective power of more than 170 groups representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Learn more at HealthyLakes.org or follow us on Twitter @HealthyLakes.